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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Manor Farm Boys Club

It was an inspiration visiting Manor Farm Boys Club. Not only has it resisted the tide of political correctness in holding onto its single-sex status, and it's original name, but it is also an example of what can be done, not by endless meetings and discussion, but by just using initiative and getting on with it.

The club is a bit of a tardis - much larger on the inside than it seems on the outside. And they have made superb use of space, with a new gym and an art room and store-cupboards in every available corner.

The club also owns a cottage in Wales for community adventure weekends, which it lets out to other youth clubs and organisations across Bristol. When I visited, they were also making use of the demand for parking spaces by people coming to watch the (sadly unsuccessful) Rovers game, and charging for car-parking.

It was really encouraging to see community minded people taking the initiative and making the club work - even more so when you realise that most of those now involved in the club came through it themselves and have grown up to want to put something back in. That's real sustainability.

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