Community action in Marsden

Release Date: 08-Dec-2009
A scheme led by a community representative in Marsden with support from KNH is helping children look after their environment.
Jacky Thomas and Deloris Walsh from KNH with pupils and staff from Marsden Junior school

Jacky Thomas and Deloris Walsh from KNH with pupils and staff from Marsden Junior school

Volunteer Jennifer Smith-Wignall has been working with local school children find out what matters to them and asking them to come up with ideas that would help improve their play area on the Dirker estate.

Litter and chewing gum soon emerged as priorities, so Jenni organized a competition, with more than 20 children taking part to design gum board pictures.

Everyone who took part received certificates and flower and vegetable packs to plant at home. Designers of the top three entries – Philomena Kaye, Jack Brown and Kai Walker – will see their designs being used to encourage children to put litter in bins and look after their play area.

To help fund the project, Jenni successfully applied for a KNH Excel community grant, which recognises and rewards those individuals and groups who make a positive difference to their communities.

The funding was used to buy a novelty teddy bear litter bin for the school and for the benches around the school yard to be repainted.

Jenni said: “It was really great to see the children getting so enthusiastic about the project and coming up with some great ideas.

“A local painter whose son goes to the school did a great job painting the benches and the teddy bear litter bin is really popular and well used.

“People often say that kids don’t care about their community, but this just shows that when they get a chance they can be really positive and enthusiastic and come up with good ideas. It has been great fun working with them.”

Jacky Thomas, KNH Neighborhood Operations Manager for the area, visited the school last week to meet the children involved. She said: “involving children in coming up with solutions to problems is a great way to encourage them to take more care of their environment.”

• If you’re involved in a community project that benefits the tenants and residents of council estates in Kirklees, you may be eligible for a KNH Excel community grant of up to £500. Call 01484 223246 for more information.