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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 09.18.38IF you go down to Plessey Woods Country Park today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

For Bedlington based charity Leading Link, with a little help from Isos Housing, has been working with local children to design and build a spectacular new art trail for the site.

And on Saturday (April 2), during a family fun day, the youngsters’ efforts were officially unveiled by civic head of Northumberland County Council, Coun. Kath Nisbet.

Eleven installations ranging from a 6ft carved wooden owl, to Hobbit houses built into tree trunks and giant willow sculptures, have been created for the mile-long trail by the young people, working alongside professional artists.

To help fund the ambitious project, Isos chipped in over £7,477 from its My Community Fund to help pay for activities for the youngsters and the creation of some of the art installations along the trail.

The local housing provider was also on hand on the day to run a colouring competition and support a stone painting workshop run by Leading Link for  youngsters to “make their mark in the park” by painting their designs on to cobblestones. These will be used to create a permanent cobbled street running through the park’s meadow.

Isos’s community involvement team leader Sara Parker-Clark, said: “This has been a fantastic project which has brought so much to the local community. 

“Not only is there now a permanent attraction for all to visit and enjoy, but the involvement of local young people means this is their legacy.

“It’s been a project that has helped build the confidence and self-esteem of the young people involved – providing activities outside of school goes a long way in the personal development of all who take part.”

The art trail, a partnership between Leading Link and Northumberland County Council, has taken a year to complete

Leading Link was set up to provide real life opportunities for young people to help them maximise their potential. The charity also manages the Northumberland Children’s University – a national programme aimed at encouraging five to 13 year olds to learn and take part in new experiences outside the classroom.

Through its sessions the young people were given the chance to design and create the installations for the trail which include a full-sized drum set made out of tree trunks, an ogre’s house for DreamWorks favourite Shrek, a giant willow Bedlington terrier with a bone and ceramic elf houses.

They also helped design and paint a series of colourful totem poles for another of the installations at the county council owned and managed country park.

On Saturday visitors were able to explore the completed trail by following a series of clues, as well as take part in other activities on site, including face painting, falconry displays, street dancing and kick boxing sessions. Music was also provided by youngsters from Leading Link.

The art project had the full backing of Northumberland County Council, which approved the improvements to the site, and also attracted funding from the Sita Trust and the Foyer Federation.

By admin