Wiltshire Publications

Westbury school projects to help promote community spirit and safety

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THE BA13 Partnership Meeting, held on 9th May at the Leigh Park Community Centre, heard presentations and discussed ‘Community Safety’ from the Area Community Plan. 

Carole King, Chair of BA13+Partnership reported, “Sarah Hopkins, who is the Junior Schools Link for Wiltshire Council’s Extended Services, spoke about an exciting project with years 3-6 from six schools within the Westbury Cluster of schools.  Two pupils from each year group in each school will be chosen to represent their school and they will come together on 13th June for a ‘Pupil Voice’ Conference

“They will note three things they like about the BA13 area and three things they would like the area to improve on. The pupils will then repeat this exercise with their schools.

“Julie Locks, a victim & witness development officer with Victim Support, handed out leaflets about domestic violence, ‘going to court’ and ‘helping you find the strength’. This organisation will listen and assist you, if you want, whether you contact the police or not.

“So how does this relate to the Community Plan? The Schools Project links to our first priority around communication and engagement to promote community spirit which is linked to encouraging responsibility and involvement for where we live.  This schools project will then lead on to the ‘Safe Places’ project which Wiltshire Council has already started in Salisbury and which will hopefully move to Westbury sometime later this summer.  Secondly, improving communication around domestic violence so people know where to get help is at the top of our other priorities for action.

“The audience then held a discussion around the rest of the priorities and key aspirations mentioned in the plan. Comments were made around how a high percentage of issues within the town are committed by such a small percent of the population, how the fear of crime far outweighs the reality of crime and how we can convey the facts to the BA13 residents.

Young people supporting older people with computing skills is listed as an example in the plan to increase social contact between the young and older generations and an exciting Wiltshire Council project of older people becoming ‘buddies’ in schools and talking to pupils about life skills is about to begin in the Warminster area.

“We are waiting to hear when Matravers School will be engaging a trainer so they can expand their Restorative Practise project and we would welcome Neighbourhood Watch groups keeping in touch with BA13 Partnership about some of the issues they contend with.

“Last November’s Partnership meeting looked at Health & Social Care and Housing with speakers from the White Horse Surgery and Wiltshire Council’s strategic head of housing.

“Our next meeting will be our AGM, to be held at Matravers School on 2nd July, 7.00 for 7.30pm start.  Our theme for discussion from the Community Plan will be arts, culture and leisure.  Do please join us to find out what we do as we would value your interest and participation.”