Wiltshire Publications

Community group making new plans to help all ages

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A NEW early intervention scheme to support young people in Westbury with their mental health is being planned by the POPCAN community group.

The organisation (Penleigh and Oldfield Community Action Network) is working with the group Young Melksham, in a bid to introduce detached youth working in the new year.

The initiative which will be supported by Westbury Town Council was revealed by POPCAN member Samantha Shore during an update of the group’s work at a Westbury Area Board meeting last week.

POPCAN member Tina Devereux said keeping up their community  work during Covid-19 had been challenging.  

“It’s been difficult to carry on as we did pre-Covid. Popcan kept connecting with the local community, but from a distance,” she said.

Samantha volunteered throughout lockdown, delivering food parcels to the community and helped with the Abraham’s Kitchen scheme of providing families with ingredients to make meals

“POPCAN and Sovereign Housing donated £500 to Abraham’s Kitchen” Tina said. “We had a uniform pass- it-on event. Donated school uniforms were received and distributed back into the community.

“Thirty families were helped  during the day and we hope to repeat that.”

Tina added the uniforms had mostly been primary school age, but uniforms for Matravers Secondary School had been needed.

 She explained that they also celebrated VE Day with a socially distanced get -together in our local area and POPCAN was also working with the Westbury Community Project to provide monthly pop-in sessions for residents to go and have a cup of tea and a chat.

She told the meeting about the youth group Team10’s nomination for a national award.

Team10 are children from Westbury Junior School who live in the Penleigh and Oldfield Park areas. They provide a young voice for the area, working with POPCAN and Sovereign Housing. 

Tina said, “They were  shortlisted for the ‘Inspirational Young Tenant of the Year Award’ in the Tpas awards 2020.”

Tpas is a tenant engagement service.

Tina added, “They didn’t win, but it was a great achievement to get into the final. POPCAN is going to look into funding for Penleigh Park, (which has been subjected to vandalism in the area) and CCTV,  and we have also put in our objections to the incinerator plan.”

She said the group had enjoyed support from Westbury Town Council, Sovereign, Wiltshire Council and White Horse News “as they publish quite a lot of our work.”

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