Five year plan shows village’s bright future

Twechar Steering Group and their youngest member - Emily (3) who attends the meetings with her mum.
Twechar Steering Group and their youngest member - Emily (3) who attends the meetings with her mum.

Twechar has launched its own ambitious family friendly action plan which includes backing for a Fairy Glen in the village.

The five year plan also includes classes and projects for all age groups and a major new ‘Greener Twechar’ initiative to make the village more environmentally friendly.

It is part of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s Coalfields Community Futures (CRT) programme which involves CRT staff supporting Twechar’s Steering Group to organise a local household survey and hold an Open Day when residents could vote for their favourite projects.

The CRT also put up a £25,000 participatory budget to get priority projects off the ground.

Sandra Sutton is manager of Community Action Twechar, which runs the local Healthy Living and Enterprise Centre and hosts most of the clubs, organisations and events in the village.

Sandra said: “We wanted to make this process as family friendly as possible so we could be sure that anything we were planning for the younger generations would be OK by parents.

“We also aimed to include something for everyone and all age groups and we feel we have achieved a really good balance in the Action Plan”.

Twechar Parent and Toddler Group received £4,000 to help them transform the walkway through the village into a Fairy Glen.

But instead of buying all the necessary figures, toadstools and models, the group has undertaken woodworking skills classes so they can carve all the fairies and other pieces they need for themselves.

Youth workers based at the centre also went ‘back to school’ to learn to teach balanceability bicycle skills to youngsters after realising that some of the kids attending the junior youth club couldn’t ride their bikes.

Now they lay on weekly classes with the help of a £2,500 grant from the CRT’s participatory budget.

The largest grant of £10,000 will be used to pay for a new environmentally friendly heating system for the Centre, reinforcing Twechar’s green credentials, which will include solar panels and growing lots of food for the local community.

Other awards include £1,000 for a knitting instructor to teach local children traditional skills, £2,300 for a series of master classes covering cooking, baking, and make-up skills for the teenage girls in the Thursday Night Club, and £1,000 for the local arts and crafts club.

Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “This has been one of the most family friendly Coalfields Community Futures Programmes we have backed and that is reflected in the wide-ranging projects included in their Action Plan.

“I wish them every success in implementing their plan”.

For more information about what’s happening at Twechar Healthy Living and Enterprise Centre visit the organisation’s website at www.twecharhlec.org.uk.