October’s Town Matters meeting began with a welcome from Chair, Cllr Nick Dove.
First up to present was Edventure’s Laura Emptage with the latest news from the Kickstart Apprenticeship Scheme. The programme works with local businesses to offer paid 6-month work placements to young adults, in jobs that centre community-focused work and sustainability.
Young people aged 16-24 that are on Universal Credit can apply for placements via the Jobcentre. All will receive 2 hours of training per week in Edventure’s outdoor classroom alongside any on-the-job training. The weekly training covers a range of topics from mental health to employability skills and green sector business skills. All apprentices also take on a climate project at their workplace, with projects to date including a composter at the Walled Garden at Mells, several recycling projects and sustainable transport at Rye Bakery. To date there have been 39 placements with 24 employers including Frome Town Council.
All apprentices receive support to find long-term employment after their placement but many have stayed on at the business they apprenticed with. Edventure are seeking more local businesses to offer opportunities. Placements are fully funded for 25 hours per week and businesses are supported by Edventure throughout. The deadline for employers to sign up is 17 December. Find out more about Kickstart and the placements available.
Project Officer, Vivienne Whitaker followed with a report on Frome Town Council’s engagement with local training providers and young adults looking to gain new skills for work. This included a Spring Forward stall at the Frome Carnival Fun Day with Bath College and Somerset Skills & Learning. 1000 people attended the event, and the college provided interactive stone mason sessions to get people engaged. Spring Forward is a signposting service to connect individuals to training opportunities from short courses to traineeships. Learn about local training providers here.
Vivienne also discussed the Critchill School catering van which has been a popular addition to the Wednesday Market. The students were keen to do more and have partnered with FTC to offer their delicious waffles and pancakes for a second day every week. The catering van can now be found at the Wednesday market in the Market Yard car park, and at Boyle Cross on Fridays. The enterprise helps young people gain skills, build their confidence and feel connected to their town.
Community Development Manager Kate Hellard and Children & Young People’s Project Officer Nikki Cox were joined by Children’s Scrapstore Bristol to deliver an update on the Play Strategy for Frome. Creating a playful town for children and adults alike isn’t just a nice thing to do – play is important for all ages. Lucy Rae from Children’s Scrapstore outlined the benefits of play including improved health and quality of life.
Nikki shared the results of the Choose Play campaign; a survey evaluating how people in Frome play and what opportunities they’d like to play more. Almost 400 people responded and the team were out at play events across the Summer including Frome’s first Playday, Frome Children’s Festival and a pop-up scrapstore at The Pod youth club. Among the most requested play opportunities were swimming and water play, accessible play equipment, more seating and social spaces, and indoor play spaces.
The next steps for the play strategy are a series of focus groups, an in-depth audit and drawing up the plan. The timing looks good for this work, with some of the equipment in Frome’s play areas reaching the end of its shelf life. More people have realised the importance of play during the pandemic, leading to more funding opportunities. A commenter watching live said “Talk to the Frome Sheds to see play, learning and fun in free flow… the best work is achieved at play”. Read the full Play Strategy report.
The meeting ended with the approval of the Grants Advisory Panel decisions on the latest Community Grants round, as well as a summary of Mayor’s Grants awarded since the last report at the Committee meeting on 4 August 2021. 12 organisations applied for funding and 8 have been recommended for approval. Read the full list and information about grants awarded here.
The agenda and details of everything mentioned above can be found on the meetings page. For dates of future meetings visit the Council Committee and Meetings page. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep updated on everything we’re up to.