Critters get a luxury hotel from youngsters

Bug hunt
Bug hunt

Creepy-crawlies in Rothbury have been given the five-star treatment this summer thanks to a group of young people aiming to learn more about nature.

Members of Northumberland’s Children in Care Council spent a day at Philip’s Field in Rothbury, building a bug hotel to develop new skills and learn about their local environment.

The activity was part of a project which aims to challenge negative stereotypes around children in care, while giving them the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their local area.

Robin Craig, participation and advocacy officer for Northumberland Adolescent Service, said: “The young people were keen to help with this community project as they had a genuine interest in conservation and wanted to help break the stereotypes of looked-after children. It was great to see them all work so hard together as a team and everyone was so proud of the results.”

Northumberland’s Children in Care Council was established to provide a voice to looked after young people, to have their views heard and to promote improvements to the services they receive. The group meets regularly to discuss issues, learn new skills, meet new friends and take part in fun activities. They also meet with councillors to discuss issues and to influence policy relating to children in care.

Jane Austin-Walker, senior project officer for Groundwork North East and Cumbria, said: “It was great to have such an enthusiastic group of young people helping to build our five-star bug hotel. They worked hard and were a pleasure to work with.”

Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The council wants to empower children that are in care to have a voice and to have their views heard. This gives them a real chance to develop as a person, giving them the opportunity of a bright future.”