Last week the Plottingham playground in Bridport received a makeover thanks to local teenagers volunteering with National Citizen Service (NCS) and Magna Housing.
A group of young adults, aged sixteen and seventeen, completed a two-week course with NCS, consisting of a one-week residential trip full of team-building activities, followed by a week of volunteering in the community on a project of their choice, which was to paint the play equipment at Plottingham Fields.
Gabe Allen, one of the young volunteers, lead the decision to improve the playground at Plottingham Fields. He said: “I’ve lived in Bridport all of my life and I’ve seen this park deteriorate in recent years. I wanted to do something about it and thought it would be great for us to repaint the equipment and make it feel welcoming again. There are lots of families in this area and I hope the much-needed improvements encourage more people to use the playground.”
Neil Perrins, Painting and Decorating Site Supervisor at Magna, was quick to organise paint brushes, tins of paint, and other materials to help the volunteers with the project. In addition, he provided three members of his painting and decorating team, Simon Rigby, Perry Harrison and Darren Pilkington, to volunteer with the group for two days, providing additional help and support.
Llywelyn Rendall Davies, Assistant Team Leader at NCS, said: “The purpose of this is to promote citizenship and community responsibility among young adults and provide them with transferrable skills. It’s their choice what project they do in the community, which gives them a sense of personal empowerment. They are also tasked with raising the money and getting sponsorship for the community project and it really helps when they can see the difference their actions make. We’re really grateful for the support we’ve received from Magna to make this happen.”
Simon Rigby, Painter and Decorator at Magna, said: “It’s been great working with these young adults this week. Their energy and enthusiasm to improve the playground is great to see. We’ve taught them some basic painting skills, including how to prep properly before you start painting, and given some tips on best ways to clean up paint brushes afterwards too. We’ve seen some great work and there’s potential for some promising painters and decorators in the making!”
The team of volunteers received some lovely comments from people passing by as they worked on the playground. Llywelyn said: “Many people have shared their excitement of it being refreshed and have said they’re looking forward to bringing their children or grandchildren to the playground next time. It was great to hear and has given the group a real sense of pride in what they’ve done for the community.”
When asked about the volunteering project, Gabe said: “Volunteering is an amazing thing to do to help communities, whether it’s the community you live in or not. I’ve found it really rewarding and encourage everyone to do it. Thank you to NCS, Bridport Town Council and Magna Housing for helping us to achieve this.”
For more information about the NCS, visit: https://wearencs.com/
For more information about Magna’s community involvement, visit: https://www.magna.org.uk/community