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Charity Clivey and Twist aims to give kids a better future in Penhill
WIDESPREAD deprivation in Penhill will no longer be an obstacle for children trying to make a better life for themselves, if one charity worker realises his vision.
After saving John Moulton Hall from possible extinction, the charity Clivey and Twist, led by Satnam Baines, has begun to set out plans for how it will use the community facility and tackle social issues which put Penhill’s next generation at a disadvantage.
However, the charity has already had one setback in its quest to turn the hall into a hub of the community, with heavy rain on July 29 causing severe flooding and substantial damage to its interior.
The clean-up has already begun, though the final work will be done by Swindon Council, as the owner of the centre.
The sooner the better as far as Satnam, the centre manager, is concerned. This is a man eager to begin painting a vision that will benefit the community.
He said: “My whole vision is for this to be the hub of the community. They haven’t got a lot around here. A lot of things have been sucked out of this area. In the 1950s this was not an area of need, it was a thriving community.
“This centre provides a huge space for people. This centre already has a profile; local people already know where it is. I want to give them ownership of it, through using it as much as possible.”
As Satnam describes his plans for a makeshift job centre, using refurbished computers, a first-floor installation in the main hall, and a cafe run exclusively by the youth of the community, he refers to figures released by the Office for National Statistics in 2010.
Penhill was listed in England’s top two per cent most income-deprived communities, top five per cent most employment-deprived communities and also as one of the most education-deprived communities.
Working full-time himself, Satnam has nine part-time staff and 10 other volunteers to call upon for activities running throughout the week with Clivey and Twist which are designed to negate some of those deprivation figures.
“We want to get the kids puffing and panting. They complain about getting sweaty, but we tell them it’s a good thing. We need them active and participating,” said Satnam.
“Parents getting involved makes things so much better. The kids are immediately more engaged and enthused when their parents are there watching or even playing themselves.”
Clivey and Twist was able to move into its Penhill Drive base because of the struggles of Community Learning In Penhill, which could no longer sustain the building.
There are no such signs of weakness in the future of Clivey and Twist, with a recent £75,000 boost from the Blagrove Trust to be used towards hiring a new full-time senior youth worker.
“We are doing okay, but we would like more volunteers. It could be working with one of the adult groups in the centre. If they are a keen gardener, they are more than welcome to maintain the exterior of the building,” said Satnam.
“Volunteering tends to be a stepping stone towards the career you want.
“We encourage people to come to us and learn more about youth work, if that’s what they want to do long-term.”
To find out more about the Clivey and Twist project, or to inquire about volunteering at the charity visit www.clivey.co.uk, or email Satnam Baines at email@example.com.
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