Employees pitch in to help Mint St kids get active
As part of our local community involvement programme we looked at ways we can contribute to the local Bankside area through volunteering. When we began to look around at the different organisations and charities the challenge was to find the right one that worked for both parties; one that can benefit from our input and at the same time provides a good experience for the ABTA staff.
This is where Better Bankside stood out. A representative from ABTA attended the monthly Better Bankside Corporate Social Responsibility Committee meetings and through this network we were able to gain an insight into the community’s aspirations and challenges, as well as meet local organisations that value volunteers and rely upon their input. It was through this Committee process that we made contact with the children’s playgroup and youth centre Mint Street and discussed how we could collaborate.
Making it happen
Putting words and ideas into action was the next stage. So to help both ABTA and Mint Street gain a better understanding of each other’s organisations Mint Street invited ABTA to help as official stewards during one of their summer open day’s and fundraising events.
Touch Rugby session
We began looking at activities that ABTA could help provide to the young people at Mint Street. There were many potential skills and activities, but to kick-off the collaboration, it was decided that sport would provide a perfect medium. Given that many of the ABTA staff are interested in Rugby a team of ABTA volunteers ran a term of weekly touch-rugby sessions held in the spring on Mint Street’s astro pitch on Thursday afternoons. This brought a new sport to many of the youngsters and the timing worked out well as the 6 Nations Championship was enjoying a high profile in the media at the time. Although the temperatures were bracing on occasions, the attendance was very good and the astro pitch facility provided a safe and professional surface on which to play. Typically each session included fun warm up games, followed by skills sessions and then a game of touch rugby which was always the highlight.
The touch rugby is going well, but to expand on the programme Mint Street and ABTA are looking to start life skills workshops with clear lesson plans and outcomes such as: Cooking, photography and Enterprise club. With the Better Bankside network and support it allowed us to meet in person those who are active in the community and learn of the wider Bankside community aspirations.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about ABTA's community work, please contact Hugh Felton at sustainabletourism [at] abta.co.uk or 0203 117 0589
To find out how Better Bankside can help you find the perfect community partnership contact Danielle Cohen at dc [at] betterbankside.co.uk or 0207928 3998