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The Pen Green Boat

Last year I made contact with some staff at Tresham, our local college of FE and HE. Our wooden boat on the beach was in need of repair and I discussed with the staff the possibility of a group of students taking on the repair. The staff from Tresham agreed this would be an ideal project for a group of students to be involved in. The staff and students visited the Centre, it was a wonderful surprise to see one of the students used to attend the nursery as a child and one used to attend our After School Club provision. They fondly chatted about their memories of nursery and the Centre. When they started looking over the boat they gave me the bad news that it was beyond repair. What would the children do? They absolutely loved the boat on the beach. But, thankfully they said they would take the boat away and build us a new one.

I arranged with the staff for the students to come in to remove the boat and ensure the area was left safe for the children.  This was closely observed by the children from the nursery. They lined up at the door watching as their boat was piece by piece dismantled and taken away. The students eventually took the boat apart and removed it from the beach. Fortunately they managed to save the wheel house. This was secured on the decking and it meant the children still had part of their beloved boat to play in.

Last week I spoke to the tutor and he told me the main boat was still being built but as a temporary solution the students had made a small boat for the children to play in.

On Friday they came back to the Centre with the new boat. As they carefully delivered the boat and place it on the beach the child once again lined up at the door to watch. The smiled with delight as they watched the boat being manoeuvred in to place.

Once it had been checked the children eagerly ran out on the beach to climb in the boat. One, two, three, how many would fit in? It was joyous to see the delight on their faces, to have a new and different boat back on the beach for them to play in.

It was lovely for some children that had previously attended the Centre being part of this project. We have truly valued the work from the staff and students at Tresham. We are all looking forward to being part of the children’s adventures as they go off sailing in their new boat.

Read more in the Evening Telegraph.

Tracy Gallagher

Joint Head of Centre