YOBS, Youths On Bikes Scheme, Drongan, East Ayrshire
Youth on Bikes Scheme (YOBS) is part of the Drongan Health Initiative co-ordinated by Drongan's Citizen of the Year 2007/08, Rosalie McCluskey. Rosalie runs a fresh fruit and vegetable home delivery scheme for older villagers and the housebound. During the week, shopping lists are collected. On Saturday mornings, young and older volunteers meet at the community centre and put the produce, supplied by local shops at reduced prices, into bags. Then the young people set out on their bikes with trailers attached to deliver.
Drongan is small community about 10 miles east of Ayr, created in the late 1960s/early 1970s on the banks of the River Coyle. In those days mining was the main industry, with many of the men working at the Killoch Pit.
The young volunteers are well known in the community now, and the shopping lists have grown from more than fruit and vegetables, particularly during the winter months, to milk, newspapers and even hair dye! In exchange for this valuable service, the young people have the use of the bikes during the week.The project was one of over 350 nominations for the prestigious Philip Lawrence Awards in 2008. It was one of six winners from across the UK, and one of the smallest projects ever to win.
Rosalie McCluskey, the person behind the Drongan Health Initiative (which includes other activities), is delighted with the way the idea has taken off. "The Coalfields Regeneration Trust funding has allowed us to purchase equipment which has made a tremendous difference to the community," she said. It is affordable and accessible to all so that the Health Initiative is not the only project to benefit - a wide range of other groups in the area are also benefiting from healthier lifestyles."
A customer says, "Fruit and veg are heavy to carry, so when we heard these young people were delivering in the area, we thought it was a great idea. We have been receiving the service for over two years now and it is excellent - very good value for money."
A young volunteer says, ‘I've been quite surprised getting to know old customers. Before I did this they were people who just shouted at you! I think they also saw young people as stereotypes, like we were all bad. So it's good to get to know them for that reason.'
Another says, ‘It keeps us fit and active!'
Rosalie McCluskey says, ‘There's sometimes imagined fear of young people and I think our project helps change perspectives. Older people see that young ones aren't so frightening and young people see that adults aren't always complaining about their behaviour. It really builds relationships and builds respect on both sides.'
Co-ordinator: Rosalie McCluskey Tel: 01292 591306
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