SOME of the most vulnerable people in the town have more than watching TV to look forward to now Threshold have a new activity plan.
The charity was awarded a £15,000 grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s £1m Innovation Fund to enable the homeless charity to employ a positive activities worker. The new appointment will allow residents across all their houses and centres to engage in a range of activities.
Many of the vulnerable people that Threshold supports are also offenders, and it is hoped that providing new activities for residents will reduce the risk of them reoffending.
The activities – which include football, pilates and current affairs activities among others – will also offer residents something to do in their spare time, skills to develop, and help boost their self-confidence.
Donna Harris, who has been working in the new role sourcing and enabling activities for around six weeks, comes from a fitness background and has already put in place a timetable of activities.
She said: “It’s all about providing things that everyone can do for all ages. And it’s really up to them as well, whether there is anything that they particularly want to do, whether it be golf, or an art course, or anything.
“They don’t have to do any of the activities, but it’s just something so that they don’t have to watch Jeremy Kyle all day, every day while they are here. Some of them might want to take courses where they can achieve NVQs.
“It’s still early days but as time goes by we hope to increase what we can do and hopefully bring down re-offending rates.”
As part of the new schedule, Threshold are also working with other local organisations and charities to help support their charges, including working with Wiltshire FA, Learning For Life, and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
They are also hoping that some of their residents can take part in the Volunteer Ranger scheme at Coate Water, which could help them achieve qualifications and improve their employment prospects.
There are also plans to start offering the Duke of Edinburgh Award to the young people who also use the charity.
Babs Harris, business manager at Threshold, said: “DofE was not set up for your Fifis and your Tobys, it was set up for the youngsters we find walking through our doors, youngsters who don’t necessarily have any qualifications and who will really benefit from the experience.
“DofE gives them extended voluntary experience, it helps them to improve their skills and it also helps them with their self-confidence.”
- To find out more about Threshold, visit www.thl.org.uk.