What to look for
A People and the DALES experience is life-changing for many of the children and adults involved, some of whom have never visited the countryside before.
This pioneering project is run by local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT). Over the last 10 years more than 7,000 disadvantaged people from deprived areas have experienced the health and well-being benefits of spending time in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside thanks to the People and the DALES team.
A range of awards are now available through the Aviva Community Fund, and the charity is asking for help to secure £10 000 that will enable the team to benefit people through activities such as walks, farm visits, conservation work and crafts.
Dave Tayler, deputy director of YDMT, said: “It’s quick, easy and free to take part in the online vote and help us secure £10,000 to continue this fantastic project. Simply visit https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/1463/ before 30th May, complete the brief registration form and cast your votes. Everyone can vote 10 times – please use all your votes to support People and the DALES!”
Already this year more than 70 people have been involved in the project through a series of eight lambing events at Ribblehead. Refugees, asylum seekers, adults with learning difficulties, and hard to reach youngsters from socially deprived backgrounds all visited the upland farm of Rodney Beresford to lend a hand checking and marking 450 lambs.
Many of the groups had the unforgettable experience of witnessing the birth of a lamb, as well as having the opportunity to help with bottle feeding and herding.
Jonathan Turner is a volunteer with St Vincent’s Support Centre in Leeds – one of the groups that took part in the lambing sessions. He said: “I feel very lucky to have lived near the Dales all my life, and so within reason, any time I choose to go there, I can. I think it’s lovely that through YDMT and People and the DALES, lots of other people get an opportunity to visit such a wonderful part of the world.
“I’ve been a volunteer with St Vincent’s for about 6 months, helping to provide free English classes to speakers of other languages. I remember the first trip I went on with YDMT to Malham in March, we were pretty late getting back for the minibus home, because many of the students were so excited. They wanted a selfie at almost every point of the walk, which delayed things quite a bit. I think seeing their excitement that day just reinforced the feeling of knowing how lucky we are, to live where we do.”
Neil Germaine also observed the lambing activities as a volunteer, with the Blackburn Asylum and Refugee Centre, and felt inspired to record the day’s events through photographs. Neil said: “I spent a lot of time in the Yorkshire Dales as a child and wanted to capture ‘a day in the life’ of our farmers at an important time of the year. Providing trips for people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity is brilliant, and sharing the experience in pictures is very enjoyable too.”
To support the People and the DALES project in their effort to secure £10,000 to continue this work, please vote online at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/1463/ before 30th May.