What a brilliant initiative on the Green in Devizes this week, and a pleasure to see what can only be described as a “mobile youth club.” It pitched up every day this week, with kids of all ages enjoying the facilities it provides. Me, ageing, either sleeping, working or complaining about sleeping or working, managed to completely overlook its very existence, while my kids and better half were aware of it.
Why am I the last to know about everything? Because I can’t be expected to look past my phone these days, relying on the book of face for my news, in-between sleeping and working! Councillor Jonathon Hunter Facebook posted about it, I inquired, perhaps unintentionally sternly, but only as a senior moment, I couldn’t see from the photos quite what the deal was!
So, I ventured down to see for myself, and aside the drizzle, it was in full swing. A volleyball net currently unattended, collapsible football goals with a group playing between them just beyond it, and at the van, children are surfing the net, or else playing a Tony Hawks skateboarding game on a console. There’s drinks, sweets and doughnuts aplenty, and Steve Dewar stands proudly by it.
Other features of the mobile youth club include a rock-climbing wall, which couldn’t come out to play because of the rain.
I was surprised to hear it had been in operation for five years. “I’ve been running Potterne Youth Club for about ten years,” Steve explained, and moved onto why it hadn’t been advertised on Facebook and other social media. “The reality is we don’t, because Facebook isn’t the best place to communicate with teenagers. It’s detached work; what we do is pitch up and engage with the young people there, we do it throughout the whole week, and day-on-day there’s an increase.”
Steve couldn’t see the point in me mentioning his mobile youth club, adamant the best form of communication for younger people is face-to-face, and besides, it was the last day it pitched on the Green, moving onto Trowbridge next week. I beg to differ, for if only to pay tribute to this guy and the wonderful work he does. In the plight of social facilities for children and youth clubs multiplied by this post-lockdown era, what Steve does here is at last as positive spin and proof amidst the doom and gloom of public services, there’s still saints like Steve, out their engaging youth the best way he knows how.
The opposite effect of a lack of amenities for youth is unfortunately anti-social behaviour, juvenile crime and possible drinking and drug taking, as we all know. Steve mentioned how the charity aided awareness and prevention of these difficult predicaments. But all the time, parents were always viewed as runners-up, his focus was entirely on the wellbeing of the children, except when he offered me a doughnut, kindly donated by Morrisons! The youth demographic there was all-encompassing, and clearly, they all enjoyed it equally.
It’s certainly evident here, social media is not needed to make kids aware of an occasion, it works by word-of-mouth as it always has. Grown up with it fed to them, rather it’s the adults who engage more with the internet, and while kids are still out, running, jumping and playing sports and games outdoors, a large majority of generation X are glued to their devises, ironically whinging that the kids are glued to their devises! I knew this, I’m guilty too, but it was great to actually witness evidence of it happening in our own town.
Steve also noted he attends local schools to let them know about the project. The van moves across the county, planning to pitch up in Trowbridge. “We’d love to do it more,” Steve expressed, “as a concept we could run this throughout the entire summer holidays, but because I work in schools termtime as well, my wife would kill me if I spent my entire summer holiday doing this! And also, financially as a charity, we get a little bit funding, and if we had more, we would plan to do more.”
And I conclude, ultimately, what an absolutely fantastic and inspiring guy, I tip my hat to Steve Dewar, and ask science, can we clone this chap?! We need more facilities like this, operating throughout the county and school holidays, we need more Steves!
If we had a lot to say about Webbs’ head-turning metal EP Disenchanted, back in August, there’s a version of Irving Berlin’s classic, White Christmas out tomorrow, Friday 3rd December, here. Yeah, it’s a sluggish haul building into Webb’s emblematic hard rock style, and the sonic fuzz-box crooning will shake the baubles off your tree! … Continue reading “Webb Dreams of a White Christmas”
We’ve teamed up with Wiltshire Live to bring you this clickbait and vastly overemphasised weather warning exclusive.…. The MET Office (MET stands for my exaggerated template) forecasts plummeting temperatures are to hit Wiltshire this week, as if it was December or something. Being our friends at Wiltshire Live detest murder capital of the world, Devizes, … Continue reading “Wiltshire to Freeze in Ice Age Temperatures, Especially Devizes!”
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Devizes-based event medical company, GWP reported their rapid response vehicle was broken into over the weekend, and approximately £1,000 worth of vital lifesaving equipment and uniform was stolen.… We make a point of avoiding local news items, rather concentrate on feelgood magazine stories. Leave the hard work and nitty-gritty to Newsquest I say! But sometimes … Continue reading “Thieves Break into Ambulance in Devizes”
Images by Chris Dunn of Inscope Design Got my groove thang on at the Muck & Dunder, Saturday, with help from The Allergies; yeah, I can still cut a rug, just!……. It was the standout track on Bath’s premiere funky groovers, Stardust Collective’s 2014 Shindig ‘Afterhours’ collection which alerted me to the wonders of Bristol … Continue reading “The Allergies Rock Da Muck & Dunder House”
Local newspapers ran with a yarn of snow blizzards, due Saturday, and illustrated the clickbait with scenes of worst weather of yore. The laughable reality was there was a blustery storm which bought five minutes of flurry. I don’t conscribe to sensationalising, neither need to interview for the emblematic promotion of a new product. The … Continue reading “Chatting With The Lost Trades”
Italian Jazz Guitarist Andy Fawthrop This was the third Long Street Blues Club weekend gig on the bounce for me. Following Gerry Jablonski Band two weeks ago, and the blow-away Focus gig at The Corn Exchange last week, it was back to the familiar surroundings of the Con Club in Long Street for (yet again) … Continue reading “REVIEW – Antonio Forcione @ LSBC, Devizes – Saturday 27th November 2021”
by T.B.D Rose Finally, after a missed year (best to write 2020 off the map) our Christmas festival was back on Friday and as illuminating as ever…. With enchanting light displays, bombastic fireworks, specialist stalls (in the Marketplace, the Corn exchange and the Shambles), seasonal music performed with gusto, the spectacular parade beaming with all … Continue reading “Cracking DOCA Christmas Festival on Friday”
Not just on the premise of tea and nibbles, I find myself at Bath Road Business Centre. The Wharf Theatre’s old prop store has been gloriously converted into a recording studio, of a sort, by a company which once set up base in Frome’s Old Fire Station, Visual Radio Arts. My initial reaction to the … Continue reading “New Grey Whistle Test: Visual Radio Arts Arrives in Devizes”
The F.T.O. Big Band at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon. 21/11/2021 Ian Diddams The Fulltone Orchestra (a.k.a. FTO) was formed back in 2017, the vision and brainchild of its Musical Director, Anthony Brown. Since then, the orchestra has performed across Wiltshire playing a wide genre of orchestral based music, from iconic movie themes to Bernstein and … Continue reading “The Fulltone goes BIG!”