01 August 2008>
Young people in Graig Y Rhacca have been spending the last few days taking part in a fantastic series of activities, ranging from rock climbing and arts and crafts through to learning about the concept of fair trade.
The youngsters, who are aged between eleven and sixteen, have been enjoying the activities organised by The Hub team, who are part of Caerphilly County Borough Council's Youth Service, with support from Bedwas Neighbourhood Policing Team, Caerphilly Council's Community Safety Wardens and the Fire Service.
Through consultation with Hub youth workers and with the support of the local Communities First Partnership, local young people discussed and developed their ideas for activities they wanted to take part in over the summer holidays.
This has included badminton, pool and football tournaments, arts and crafts and pottery, as well as learning about different cultures. The participants were also fortunate enough to spend a day at Parc Penallta, where they had the opportunity to take part in a rock climbing competition.
The Fire Service have also been lending their support to the event, by providing fire safety advice and conducting fire drills, as well as taking part in the fun!
These free events were extremely popular and well attended, with between 20 and 30 youngsters from Graig Y Rhacca and the surrounding area taking part each day.
Stephanie Colwill, aged 13 said, "I really liked doing the pottery because I like getting my hands messy and I also enjoyed the wall climbing."
11-year-old Martyn Davies added, "I really liked doing the team building because there were lots of activities for us to do and it was good to work in a team."
Youth Worker Andrew Griffiths, who had a lead role in organising the event said, "We were really keen to provide some stimulating and enjoyable activities for the local youngsters to take part in during the summer holidays, so that they were able to spend their time positively.
The feedback that we have received from the young people and their parents has been extremely positive, which is really rewarding as it means that all the hard work to organise the scheme has paid off, and more importantly we are now confident that similar schemes in the future will be equally as enjoyable for local youngsters."
Bedwas Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant, Kevin Childs said, "These events provide an excellent opportunity for young people to spend their time over the summer holiday positively with their friends, team building and learning new skills. Local Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers from the Bedwas Neighbourhood Policing Team joined the youngsters on two of the days, and really focussed on interacting and engaging with them.
They all know the local officers from their patrols and work in the area, and these events help to further build relationships with young people so they aren't reluctant to approach officers and speak to them should they need help."
Caerphilly Council's cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "Schemes such as this are excellent in that they provide activities for local youngsters to take part in, thus ensuring that they spend their summer holidays in a positive way. At the same time, they act as an excellent diversion from any possible anti social behaviour that may occur over the summer holidays as a result of "boredom" or "having nothing to do."
It's great to see that this event has been so well used and enjoyed by the youngsters – I would really like to see the success of this scheme built upon, with other such events becoming available to youngsters throughout other parts of the county borough."
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