24 Xenolith explorer scouts and their young leaders spent and evening, with The Mayor of Ulverston Councillor Mark Wilson, Councillor Judy Pickthall and Councillor Colin Pickthall, discussing issues and ideas that could improve Ulverston.
This event was organised as part of the Scout Association’s national ‘You Shape’ strategy and run by two explorers 15yr old Alex Nicklin and 16yr old Megan Bartlett who were taking on the role as leaders for the evening as part of their leadership development ‘Wear Their Necker’ initiative.
Alex said: “Doing the leadership role was good, it was a bit frightening before the event because I’d never done anything like that before but I enjoyed doing it and would do it again” Megan said: “It was quite scary having to start the meeting but it ended up being good fun. It was interesting realising how much goes into running a Monday night meeting.”
Over 30 ideas and comments were generated, shared and discussed. A top five were identified and further debated then there was a vote for the top two topics which were, creating a safe crossing place at the Rake Lane/Springfield Rd junction for UVHS pupils and the siting of a bike repair/maintenance stand in Ulverston.
The Explorers will now prepare a presentation on their findings with possible solutions to those topics and present it to the Town Council.
Councillor Judy Pickthall discussed how the explorers could be involved in the development of ‘The Coro’. Two explorers volunteered to help and the unit offered to do a survey on what the 14yr to 17yr olds of Ulverston and area would like to see The Coro provide for their age group.
Councillor Colin Pickthall came to update the Explorers, on the cycle policy they developed and presented to the Ulverston Town Council following a similar evening 3 years ago. He said: “The initial idea of having a cycle path from Ulverston to Greenodd was generated from this explorer unit, now we have funding to back the project and an engineer is looking at the route.”
“Finally the Explorer Scout unit expressed an interest in carrying out a Disability Access Survey across Ulverston as part of their ‘Million Hands Project’ which is supported by Leonard Cheshire Disability. It was agreed we should do this survey and feed back the results to the Ulverston town Council.
“Throughout the evening we had another guest, Gareth Hodgson the Cumbria Scout Commissioner for Youth who came along to see how we were tackling ‘You Shape’. His reaction was fantastic he said “Xenolith have demonstrated all aspects of the You shape pledge then taken it a step further and involved the local council in shaping things for the future. This means they are the first group in Cumbria to achieve their Gold You Shape Pledge.”
To finish the evening Gareth presented certificates to Alex and Megan for their ‘Wear Their Necker’ event and then swapped Neckers with the Mayor to claim his own ’Wear Their Necker’.
Mark Wilson said: “It has been an interesting and productive evening. As councillors we have ended up with more work, but the Explorers were engaged and interested throughout the meeting.”