Community action in Dirker

Release Date: 30-Nov-2009
A scheme led by Dirker Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) in Marsden with support from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) is helping children look after their environment.
Jacky Thomas and Deloris Walsh from KNH, with children from Marsden Juniors

Jacky Thomas and Deloris Walsh from KNH, with children from Marsden Juniors

TRA volunteers have been working with local school children to find out what matters to them and asking them to come up with ideas that would help improve their play area.

Litter soon emerged as a major priority, so the TRA organized a competition, with more than 20 children taking part to design gum board pictures. All the entrants received certificates and the top three entries 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, the TRA 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.

Dirker TRA Chair, Jenni Smith-Wignall, 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 Neighbourhood 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.”

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