YOUNG people have dragged themselves away from the television to clean up their communities this summer.

The Young Wardens scheme, launched in Penhill last year, saw more than 20 young people regularly help the council’s neighbourhood wardens and take part in a range of activities.

Warden manager Pete Holohan said: “The main thing has been the young people recognising the benefits of helping the community and we hope they will be educated and have fun at the same time.

“Last year was such a success we have been able to roll it out to more people, but we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of so many people.”

Young Wardens is for children aged seven to 11. As well as making friends, participants can visit the fire station, learn about internet safety and take part in litter picks with treasure hunts.

Rob Stygall, warden for West Swindon, said: “It helps us to engage with children in the area and gives us an opportunity to meet with them and speak about what they want.

“We try to deliver something that is friendly and fun and they end up stopping us after to chat about what is happening.”

There will be an chance to get involved with garden projects, thanks to Wyevale Garden Centre and TWIGS, which is running willow weaving sessions.

The NSPCC is planning to run activities such as plate and mug decorating and a nature walk.

A talk from the Road Safety Team will form part of the programme and children will also get a recycling box to decorate.

Tia Atkinson, 11, of Toothill, with friend Shannon Shepherd, 11, decided to attend the scheme to avoid boredom this summer.

She said: “There isn’t much to do over the summer, so we came along to see what it is.

“It is good because you give a lot back to the community and help to clean up the streets.”

The Young Wardens scheme runs 10am to 1pm on Mondays (Penhill), Tuesdays (Toothill and Freshbrook) and Wednesdays (Pinehurst) over the holidays.

Mayor Ray Ballman was at the launch and said: “It is important for young people to understand their responsibility and what they can achieve.”

For more information, visit and do a search for Young Wardens, or email neighbourhoodwardens@swindon.