Saturday 23 February 2013

The Boat Office

 Two days of working out of the ‘boat office’; introducing people to this wonderful resource on their doorstep. Very few having actually experienced the waterways, some not even realising it was so close to their communities.
The first trip was an interesting mix of people business and educational settings, showing them the countryside in the heart of the city. One of the teachers stated that he usually takes trips to the dales but here he could save time and money but still do similar activities. The business people were looking at underused properties adjacent to the navigation, linking that to education and employment.
The discussion finished with the business people asking ‘What can we do for you?” and refreshingly seeing a potential partnership for mutual benefit rather than a cap in hand for cash.
 Day 2 was entirely different. The JDI club being held on the boat and not in Moyes. The first comment from a member of the group was, “I work with young people so I look at the risks of being close to water.” The comment being reinforced by the sight and sound of the River Aire in flood going over the weir. Another member stated that you have to look at risk benefits - assessing and managing the risk and balancing that against the benefits from the activity.
The trip finished with a variety of comments but they all saw how their clients would benefit from this wonderful resource on their doorstep.

Housing: “We have young warden groups. This could bring the team together and reward them for their behavior.”
Family intervention: “What a wonderful way to get members of the family working and learning together.”
Group leaders: one working with women and the other with men but both seeing how they could link into breaking social isolation, a calming environment and the other relating it back to risk taking.

Others saw how they could link it into event management, community cohesion, inter faith and binding it all together through creative arts. Experienced practitioners alongside trainee youth workers. All this in the space of 20 minutes on a boat!!!!!

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