Dereham Windmill gets a clean-up from students in National Citizen Service project
- Credit: IAN BURT
A team of public-spirited school-leavers pitched in to help their community by completing a series of tasks at one of Dereham's most recognisable landmarks.
The enterprise scheme at Dereham Windmill involved 15 students from Neatherd High School in Dereham, Reepham High School and Norwich High School for Girls who carried out some important maintenance work.
It was organised by the National Citizen Service, a flagship government initiative which offers opportunities for 16 and 17-year-olds to learn new teamwork and leadership skills, build their confidence and broaden their horizons – as well as developing community projects to help their area.
In the grounds of the windmill on Greenfields Road, the activities included the maintenance of green areas, refurbishment of picnic benches, clearance of rough vegetation and replanting to attract butterflies. Inside the listed building, restored areas, windows and doors were cleaned.
Dereham mayor Tim Birt was impressed with what the young volunteers had achieved. He said: 'I am delighted that the National Citizen Service has chosen Dereham Windmill for their one and only project in Dereham.
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'Dereham Town Council actively encourages the scheme as the development of 'hands on' skills for young people is key to further education and future employment. I look forward to seeing future groups work with the Dereham Windmill trustees to the benefit our local community.'
The windmill underwent a £75,000 restoration last year and now the trustees need to raise another £110,000 to build a cafe and toilet facilities alongside it which will help their long-term goal of establishing the historic site as a community venue.
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Brian Webb, Dereham Windmill chairman, said: 'I should like to thank the National Citizen Service for choosing Dereham Windmill as their first project in the Dereham area and giving us the opportunity to support this scheme for the Sporting Light Appeal.
'We recognise that one of the ways to secure the windmill's future is to encourage young people to actively participate in supporting roles, which in turn will develop their social skills. We look forward to further partnered activities in the near future.'