Oarsome Chance were approached by Friends of Hardway to help deliver diversionary activities for young people at Hardway Green for the Summer of 2020. The area had suffered some bouts of anti-scoial behaviour in the Summer of 2019 and the idea was to put on some inclusive activities out on the water as a positive response to the lack of things to do for young people during the Summer months.
OC devised a programme of fun water-based activities (kayaking and paddleboarding, both tailored to social distancing) to be delivered over two weeks, with all the action taking place on previous trouble hotspot Hardway Green.
Week commencing Mon 20 July was the first week and we are pleased to say that reports from local residents are that the buzz created by the Pop Up Paddlesports has made a fantastic impact on the area. So much so, the initiative has made the local news, with the Portsmouth News reporting "It has led to a night-and-day transformation of the atmosphere in the area, much to the delight of those who live there." And local Councillors and organisers of the event Jamie Hutchinson and Diane Furlong are very pleased with the results so far.
Chairman of Friends of Hardway, David Marshall, said: ‘We have seen a huge change down here in Hardway. Everyone has been talking about how great things have been this summer, with so many families on the green or on the jetty. It seems like those troublemakers may have moved on, or even been swept up in the excitement of this new scheme.’
We've had some great feedback from parents too: "I just wanted to convey my thanks to the team for giving my children such a great afternoon. They loved their session and we really appreciated the efforts and kindness of the people down at Hardway today."
Another week of Pop Up activities is planned for week commencing 3 Aug and we are looking forward to welcoming lots more young people out on the water!