Boro Active Explorers (BAE) is a one-year initiative to engage communities in Thorntree & Brambles and North Ormesby with their local environment, increasing physical activity and improving mental wellbeing. The initiative will help families, volunteers and school children reconnect through outdoor learning.
MVDA is managing the volunteering programme of BAE and our role is to engage, train and support volunteers (including parents, older young people and others) to support the activities as well as become ambassadors to ensure future sustainability.
We are currently doing some co-design work with a group of community champions to help shape the volunteering role, identify skills needed as well as take part in relevant training. This is done in an informal way, creating a safe, non-judgemental space for the champions to express their views, as well as plan and lead on BAE community activities.
The community champions recently took part in a session on ‘Introduction to mobile photography’ which included information on creating a storyboard to be used for our social media page. The champions have put their skills to good use by taking some photographs of being active in the community as well as collecting things from nature to take part in a fun-filled craft session over the half-term break.
The programme is being delivered by three partners, each bringing their own expertise. Middlesbrough Environment City is the lead partner for the proposal, bringing their experience of delivering Forest Schools, outdoor play, cycling and walking and healthy eating. Community Ventures Limited, based in Thorntree, bring specific local knowledge of their communities and community engagement experience.