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!
Ah this is more like it, the English summer we know and love! Tad wet, but here’s what we have to do this week and the last weekend before the big summer blow-out which is the August Bank Holiday.…. Don’t forget, more info and all links for bookings are on our event calendar, where you … Continue reading “Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 17th-24th August 2022”
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You’ve only got until Monday to sound your opinion on the Devizes School land sell-off, the consultation ends Monday 15th August. Go give your verbal muscle, here, for all it’s worth. I’m not well-travelled but I did once go to Barbados, where people live in humble breezeblock shacks yet their schools are immaculate. How this … Continue reading “You’ve Only Got Until Monday to Sound Your Opinion on the Devizes School Land Sell-off”
The heat is on, as Glen Frey once said. Whatever did happen to Glen? You don’t have to answer that, we’re here to find out what’s going on in the wonderful wilds of Wiltshire, not to discuss the heroes of eghities power-pop. Thursday 11th, then, and James Kirkby plays Chapel Arts in Bath, ans Lone … Continue reading “Weelky Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 11th-16th August”
By Ian Diddams After eight months of being other engaged on the first Sunday of each month, with run throughs of self-authored radio plays, Rugby weekends to Edinburgh, and rehearsals for Pirates of Penzance and Macbeth, I finally had a spare slot to come and see Jon Amor in residency at The Southgate Inn, Devizes. … Continue reading “Jon Amor in Residency – August 7th 2022 – The Southgate Inn”
Steeple Ashton’s Summer Spectacular at the church paddock on Saturday 10th September promises a three-course street food feast, with an auction from Paul Martin of TV’s Flog It, a casino, and entertainment from a magician and Abba tribute, Angels. Tickets are £45 from the Steeple Ashton village shop, or online here, and proceeds go to … Continue reading “Steeple Ashton Summer Spectacular Fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association and Others”
Being politically correct, a near-naked rotund fellow with obesity issues mopped his greasy body with a sponge, being certain to cleanse all areas by slipping it through the gusset of his swimming trunks. Another moronic daredevil then raised the sponge above his tilted head, opened his mouth and rinsed the contents into his gullet, on … Continue reading “Chippenham MP Boasts about Appearing on Far-Rightwing TV Channel”