Tuesday, 2 June 2009

P.T. Corps Chores.

On a bakingly hot Tuesday morning work finally gets under way. W.O.2 'Geordie' Taylor of the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick, who was such a great help during the training period for my ride last year brought along four lads from the garrison to help. Becky gave them a brief tour of the unit and they met the children. As an outsider it's impossible not to be affected by the hope and possibilities of the the children's lives and I think everyone made the project their own, even if only for the day.
Geordie, Mann, Vak and myself started on the 'prison yard' fence whilst Rob and Tony tackled the playhouse/climbing frame/slide. I couldn't help noticing that there was rather a lot of tooing and froeing of female staff going on whilst the lads were at work but I imagine that this was the norm in a busy school day.
Although there is still a lot to do, weaving willow into the fence has already made a huge difference to the feel of the space and as we introduce more organic materials we should be able to create a much more natural area for the children's outdoor play and learning.
I hope the lads from the army take away not only a sense of achievement from their day's work here but also a feeling of belonging in some part to a community. I think the forces recognise that they can be isolated from the communities in which they find themselves and that integrating with civilian life can only be of benefit in the long run.
Anyway, I enjoyed working with them very much, they have a great 'can do' attitude and you've only to point them at a job and it gets done. I hope they enjoyed their day too.

I'd also like to thank Lt Col. A.G. Smith, who very kindly allowed the lads to come and help.

I owe you a beer lads - see you in Catterick!

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