About me – Dave Wilkins

It’s time to introduce another Your Ideas interview post, this time with the infamous Dave Wilkins. Dave has been a big part of Your Ideas since its humble beginning and we are so thankful for his support. He is well known and loved within the local community for his work and rightly so!

1. What do I do at Your Ideas?

Well…..I wrote the Child Protection Policy and up-date it annually and I have also contributed to other Policy documents.

I also continue to do the CRB checking of all staff and volunteers – my previous life as a police officer specializing in Child Protection helps!

I also run some of the 50+ WIG sessions and sometimes am asked to work on other projects such as the animation workshops.

2. How long have you been a part of Your Ideas?
Since it began. Been friends with Pauline and Simon a long time and worked with them previously so came on board from the start.

3. What ideas have I had?
Well, mainly working on a Puppet Theatre which we built and did some performances with one of the previous school groups (Kingsley) for the local pre-school children.

Lots of other stuff but mainly associated with Policy planning and organising 50+ WIG from scratch.

4. How would I describe Your Ideas?
Well – it is a place where young and old alike are given opportunities to explore new ideas and concepts without being judged, but within a safe, caring and supportive environment which allows individuals to learn more about themselves and how to relate to others.

5. What do I like about Your Ideas?
It is one of the only places I have ever worked in / with where the people who come there are put first and where staff and volunteers who work at Your ideas genuinely care and are not doing it for their own agenda.

It also shows young people – and older ones! – that they can achieve what they never though possible. However, it is an environment which is firm but fair – there are rules, but for the benefit of everyone – and it works!

I have seen some remarkable results achieved in the work done with some ‘difficult’ and often ‘angry’ young people where they have been allowed to grow and develop into the fundementally decent human beings they are.

6. What would I do to improve the Centre:
Get the heating sorted (expensive!).

7. How do etc…
Apart from comments in 4 and 5 above, there has been a major influence on the general well-being felt by the local traders in the Centre. Having policed this area previously I know it can sometimes be a hostile environment.

This has changed radically since Your Ideas has been there – despite what some individuals in the various Authorities have said/believe. I KNOW it has made a big difference, but there is no magic wand and it has to be supported – POSITIVES not NEGATIVES please!

The staff at Your Ideas have done so much to try and influence better behaviour in this area, much of it unseen and not always appreciated – there are no instant solutions to problems that have been there for years. One thing – the recent Firefit Challenge Egg and Spoon Relay brought out the best in Matchborough Centre Community and was a major success and has led to a feel good factor.

8. Local Authorities…..
Simple – be supportive and recognise the excellent work being done in a difficult area and the fact that this project has made a genuine difference – for the good. Forget personal issues – Your Ideas is not about ‘point scoring’ – it is something that should be celebrated and where possible given the financial support to enable it  not just to continue, but to expand the work to impact on even more people.

9. Any other comments…..
Your Ideas runs one of the only facilities to cater for young people on the Autistic Spectrum.

It has also managed to radically alter the anti-social behaviour of some individuals who have been there – several in fact who have succeeded in turning their lives around. This takes time, patience and support.

I sincerely hope that those who are in positions of influence make sure that projects such as Your Ideas are given every opportunity to thrive.

We would like to thank Dave for his incredibly kind words and his continued support at Your Ideas.

The slideshow below shows a snapshot of some of the great work Dave has been a part of since the project started.

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Core to the way we work is listening to the people we work with and those we help. We believe everyone should have a voice so its great when we get a piece to put on the Blog. But remember the opinions here are those of the person and they don’t necessarily reflect Your Ideas’s policies or views.

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