Doing it for ourselves - TeamGY

THERE’S no doubt about it, in these times of austerity we have to be “doing it for ourselves” as Sister Sledge sang in their pop hit.

There’s already a lot going on in the borough with charities, groups,clubs, voluntary organisations helping others in a vast number of ways, but what if that was expanded.

This summer we have seen TeamGB give us a wonderful spectacle of sporting success at both the Olympics and Paralympics, but there was one group of people who have had the loudest cheer of all in the arena - the track-suited volunteers who, in the words of one local man, beat Disney’s greeters by a mile!

These volunteers were at the heart of the whole summer experience. Over the last several weeks, The Mercury has been talking to businesses,large and small - and retail and industry, as well as voluntary groups, charities and the borough council, and mulling over the creation of TeamGY - a focus to make things happen and make this borough a betterplace to live and work.

And anyone can sign up for it.

For instance, couldn’t TeamGY come up with a Friends of the Railway Station?

A TeamGY group could make representations to Greater Anglia for a small pot of funds to buy materials to create a canopy on the outside to provide shelter; the work being carried out by skilled volunteers - maybe college carpentry students.

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And what about our youngsters who have dreams for the Olympics and Paralympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro; can we focus on their training, start other interested youngsters on the path? What can we do as a community, rather than clubs having to battle on their own for funding and equipment?

The Waterways on the Golden Mile is a bone of contention on the Mercury’s letters pages - we don’t want money diverted from vital services to fund a makeover but perhaps a TeamGY school or youth club could adopt parts of it; local gardening services donate time as well as the odd shrub, tree, or bulb - ready to bloom next spring and summer.

One man is already thinking ahead. In the Mercury September 14, we reported how Neil Turner, who runs social enterprise ActivatingCIC, is promoting a scheme where we would see Yarmouth as a regional cycling centre - with a velodrome and family cycling centre, with trails and tracks.

This is what we are talking about. How can we help him achieve this?

Businesses, retail and industrial, who sign up to TeamGY could provide their expertise to other projects in the borough that residents identify - and as part of TeamGY they would pledge to hire local if skills are available; and liaise between themselves for services instead of ordering goods or products from afar.

If every club, social and sporting, joined TeamGY and appointed one member as their liaison - wow, what a team of expertise that would be!

No doubt many of you will be able to come up with more ideas...let’s hear about them, from both towns and all the villages. We need ideas that are practical and whimsical because who knows?

There will be no one person in charge - just residents, schools, college, businesses coming together; but we would need people willing to be a focal point of the campaign.

The borough council is supporting this initiative through it’s leader Trevor Wainwright, and deputy managing director Jane Ratcliffe, and in the background it will help collate information and create a database.

Can you help get the TeamGY ball rolling?

EACH week on Page 18 of the Mercury, we will list some of the TeamGY ideas or projects suggested and a contact number for interested readers to use to get in touch.

In the meantime, email editor anne.edwards@archant.co.uk, or write to her at 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA with those ideas.

If you already run a group which needs help, which wants to help and to become a part of TeamGY, send information and contact details. If any group, club or business wants to use the TeamGY to promote the campaign, again email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk and it will be quickly sent out to you.