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Byker Boat

Page history last edited by Alex Finnegan 3 months, 1 week ago

Byker Rowing Club



https://www.facebook.com/RoyalQuaysRowing  - this is the dedicated website for the new rowing club which shall manage Byker Belle.


For more images please view Byker Boat Gallery

Our Flickr photo

http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzvim98 and click on link


Byker Boat is an innovative example of how creative communities can collaborate to develop affordable facilities and resources for wider public use.

By engaging socially isolated groups, such as teenagers excluded from school or adults recovering from alcohol / substance abuse, projects likeByker Boat can communicate a range of practical skills, breaking big problems down into manageable tasks, supporting individuals to achieve personal goals they might never have believed possible. Boat building is also a unique talking point for job interviews.

When the Ouseburn Trust ran a series of business breakfast networking events in 2010, social entrepreneur Alex Finnegan attended and explained his Company's activities to the assembled business people munching on their fried egg sandwiches. Alex explained that his Company, PuppetShip CIC, produced puppet shows for younger children and built boats with teenagers and adults.

One business breakfast attendee that morning was Oli Ketteringham of the Newcastle Science City Community Science Team. Oli was inspired by the notion of local Byker teenagers building community boats and of how this sort of activity could communicate key science themes and support young people back into employment, education or training. Two years later and Byker Boat is now fully planked and awaiting a coat of paint, testament to the power of community networking events and fried egg sandwiches!

The choice of venue and participants was also down to a community networking event. Alex had met David Humes of the Byker Centre, Hedlam Street when they were both selected to take part in the Collaborate to Innovate programme organised by Culture Works. When Alex asked David about building the Science City boat within the Byker centre, David proposed St Michael's Church as a possible space. The combination of a beautiful boat being built within such an amazing church space can not help but inspire everyone that visits St Michael’s.

Even the finished appearance of Byker Boat is down to community networking. Alex had decided to paint black and white stripes, but project participant Rob, remarked that, “Byker is mainly blue!”. This gave Alex the idea to approach John Lee CEO of Your Homes Newcastle asking “can we have some spare Byker paint please”. John Lee’s immediate response was “happy to help!”, Byker Boat will be painted in true Byker colours, residents should take pride in the strength of their local networks.

So until the end of May 2012, if you are passing St Michael’s Church up on the hill, on a Wednesday afternoon 1-3pm, pop in and see what a creative community can achieve. Byker’s diversity is it’s great strength, many different talents and experiences exist side by side, a human resource waiting to be tapped.

When you see Byker Boat you will no doubt think, “if Byker people can do this, what else can we do?” Well, you could put your name down to take a turn on an oar, or you could say to Alex “we want to build Byker Boat #2, so that we can have rowing races up and down the Tyne, like in the old days”. Should the second boat be black and white stripes? -That decision is up to you.

The Community Science Team
The Community Science Team delivers a range of community-based events, workshops and meetings to enthuse and excite people about science. They will work closely with local residents and community groups to support and encourage them to develop science-based projects to address key issues in their local community.

Newcastle Science City was set up by Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council and One North East to help the region realise the full economic potential of its science-based industries. The project benefits from European Regional Development Funding (ERDF).

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