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Well Whitehaven news and events

Men in Sheds Christmas Success

The ongoing development of the Men in Sheds project saw the group focus on the manufacture sale of Christmas decorations during the month of December. Items manufactured included Christmas trees and snowmen made from pallets along with more intricate items such as nativity scenes and sleighs.

The products were initially advertised via the shed Facebook page and were also sold via two local businesses – Rosebudz florists and West Coast Group. This year the group sold over 50 Christmas trees alone and were slightly overwhelmed by the support they received from the local community, which resulted in sales of goods totalling over £1000, all of which is used to keep the shed group running.

The group has now doubled in size and is already looking at further expansion as it develops towards operating under a social enterprise model.

As well as continuing to make seasonal goods – bird boxes, planters and garden ornaments the group are now supporting other community projects such as the development of unused ground at a local school to enable it to be used as a nature area.

Pictures of the goods can be found here.

Future Pathways project launched by Well Whitehaven

A new programme for 14 and 15-year-olds has been launched by the Well Whitehaven team. Future Pathways offers a locally delivered alternative to the traditional residential activity based studies, by providing a variety of classroom and outdoor activities each week focusing on a different area of learning and development.

Each session in the eight-week programme will enable young people to develop skills to help them in the next stage of their learning and through to the world of work. They also have the option to work towards formal qualifications to become climbing or canoeing instructors.

The programme began on 15th September, and is funded for the next three years. During this time, the Future Pathways team expects to engage with 350 young people of secondary school age.

Each cohort of 12 will ‘graduate’ after the initial eight weeks and will be mentored by a Community Support Officer for the following 12 months. From Future Pathways the young people will be supported and encouraged to move to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

For more information about Future Pathways please contact Mark Wear at mark.wear@cumbria.police.uk.



Fantastic Men in Sheds team transforms community space

Thanks to wonderful support from the local community and businesses, a brand new workshop/shed and small allotment area have been created at the Seathwaite Community Centre in Mirehouse, Cumbria.

The three-day Men in Sheds project, led by Well Whitehaven, involved over 30 people who volunteered to take part by digging, building and brewing tea! Starting with an empty patch of ground on Monday 30th October, the community space now includes a shed plus an allotment of raised planting beds to grow fruit and vegetables, new fencing and paths plus a compost bin. Children from Valley School also built bug hotels to attract insects to the allotment.

Men in Sheds takes its inspiration from the Men’s Sheds movement which originally started in Australia. The Mirehouse 'shed' operates from the Community Centre and was originally set up by AgeUK to provide men aged 50 or over with a dedicated space for their age group where they can make things, socialise, share skills, or just enjoy a brew.

Thanks to support from the local community and businesses, the Mirehouse shed is now able to expand and offer additional activities. The project team would like to thank Sellafield Ltd, Travis Perkins and West Coast Group for donating materials to enable the project to go ahead, and Morgan Sindall for working with the children on the bug hotels.

Mark Wear from Well Whitehaven said: “This amazing project wouldn't have been possible without all of the donations of materials and people's time which we received to support the group. A huge thank you to everyone, particularly the local businesses, for their contributions.”

You can see more photos and follow the project here.

Bright outlook for Future Pathways graduates

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, attended the graduation of a group of students from the Pathways programme on Friday 17th November at Whitehaven Academy.

The initial cohort of 15 students graduated from the ‘Future Pathways’ programme, which delivers an alternative to the traditional residential activity based studies by providing a variety of outdoor activities each week focusing on a different area of learning and development. The programme has helped young people develop skills to help them in the next stage of their learning and through to the world of work.

The students, comprising a group of year-nine and group of year-ten students from Whitehaven Academy, took part in the eight week programme involving activities that helped develop their problem solving and presentation skills along with boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I am delighted to support ‘Future Pathways’ and to be part of the graduation event and see the results of the students’ hard work come to fruition. I have made a commitment to support young people in our communities, and I know that it is only by working together with our partners and agencies that we can make a positive difference to these young people’s lives.

“I hope that Future Pathways will continue to demonstrate that with effort, commitment and support, every young person can ensure they have a bright future.”

The Pathways programme is funded and delivered as a partnership between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Morgan Sindall Construction and Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project, and supported by Well Whitehaven.

From ‘Future Pathways’ a number of the students will continue to be supported as they now move on to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Junior Firefighters scheme, work experience and other community based projects

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Children inspired to boost natural spaces in Mirehouse

An interest within the Mirehouse community to develop green spaces within the estate was generated after the successful Men in Sheds project. Two groups of children from St. Begh's Catholic Junior School and Valley Primary School were given the opportunity to visit Watchtree Nature Reserve at Wigton, with the aim of inspiring them to gain ideas on how their local area could be developed.

The students were encouraged to take in as much as they could during the visit so that they could potentially replicate aspects of the nature reserve in the area where they live.

Whilst walking round the nature reserve the children were asked to collect items that represented all the colours in the rainbow. All of the children were amazed by the variety of colours and the amount of things that continued to grow and live during the winter months. The students also learnt about different habitats and some saw a family of wild deer.

Using the knowledge and information they gathered during their visit to Watchtree Nature Reserve, the children are now beginning to prepare their own plans on how they would like to see their area developed to increase the presence of nature and enhance the open spaces.

The visit was sponsored by the Crime Commissioner for Cumbria and construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall.

Gillian Johnston, community engagement advisor at Morgan Sindall, said: “The visit to the Watchtree Nature Reserve was a very cold day but very enjoyable.

“Encouraging the children to learn and care about developing green spaces in their local community is great as it helps them to see the very important contribution nature makes to the environment they live in. I look forward to hearing the children’s ideas and plans for the community after the Christmas holidays.”

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