The Renegades Youth Club found themselves in deer straits when they had their first ever attempt at skinning a roe.
“The children were initially very reticent about touching the creature, which had been donated by a local farmer, and stood right back. It took about a minute for their natural curiosity to kick in, and then they all had a go and had great fun in the process,” says Group Leader Gareth Miller.
“They were really good at it and there were only two or three nicks into the flesh by the end. They were so proud of mastering such a traditional country skill, and then they all took some venison home to show their parents. We are always looking for new and different things for the kids to experience but even I never expected this one!”
The Renegades have been getting a handle on gate repairs this month as the young members are encouraged to do their bit for the local community.
“Farmer and Renegades supporter Clive Stickland had mentioned to me that a gate in a neighbouring field had been broken for some time,” says Gareth. “It made me think that it was a perfect opportunity for the kids to learn about their social responsibilities while having some practical hands-on fun.”
A group of members got together the tools they needed to make the repairs (thanks as ever to the National Lottery for providing them!) and set off to the problem gate. Under Gareth’s watchful eye, they worked together and set about the repairs using clamps, grinders, drills, saws and hammers. “It was not an easy job as the gate was literally falling apart but they worked well together, creating splints for the broken bars and repairing the gate lock. I was very proud of them.”
Gareth and co Group Leader Damian Dixon have also been teaching the kids how to make shelves to go on their workshop walls, again putting the fun in functional learning.
As the school summer holidays came to a soggy close, Gareth ran a final day trip to Brighton. “Good old British weather meant it was a bit too cold and miserable for the beach, so the older ones went shopping and I took the younger ones onto the pier. Hot chocolate and chips saved the day…not to mention the karaoke on the bus!”
The Renegades was delighted to be asked to run an archery activity at the Loxwood Village Fete, and it proved hugely popular with parents and children alike with non-stop queues.
We would also like to say an enormous thank you to the Wisborough Green market team for their amazingly generous donation of £500 from the proceeds of the market raffle. “We were honoured when the Wisborough market team offered to make us their monthly charity but we were completely blown away when the figure turned out to be so high. It goes a long way towards getting life jackets, ready for our long-cherished dream of having a fleet of canoes for the children. Such generosity is heart-warming.”
The Renegades is a Registered Charity. Membership costs £10 a month. Please contact Gareth Miller on 07801862550 or Damian Dixon on 07484130189 if you want any further information.