Credit should go to teens

With reference to the article on page 28 of this week’s Northumberland Gazette, written by your reporter Ben O’Connell, ‘Facility from closed homes complex put to use’.

I’m very disappointed to read that Four Housing is being given credit for the donation of the summerhouse to the Old Vicarage Wooler.

The article does not mention how the residents at the closed home (Horsdonside) came to have such a high-quality summerhouse.

It came to be erected at Horsdonside through the hard work of a dedicated group of teenagers from the Belford Wildlife Group, Northumberland Eco Wild Team (Newts), who came up with the idea of a wildlife garden and summerhouse.

Due to the elderly at Horsdonside having just a boring wide expanse of grass to look at, the Newts decided that they wanted to provide something more for the elderly community to create an interest and somewhere for them to meet up with friends and family throughout the day.

The group did all the research, the application for the grant, with the help of Karen and Tom Burn, the then Belford Wildlife Watch leaders, to develop the wildlife garden and to provide the summerhouse.

They even found the builder to build the summerhouse, visiting his workshop to discuss the plans and stain the wood before manufacturing.

In your article, there is no mention of their hard work and dedication of this group of teenagers (Newts).

The way the article is written, it reads that Four Housing provided the summerhouse, and you are giving them all the credit.

It was actually provided as a facility for the residents of Horsdonside by the Newts, not Four Housing.

At the time of closure, the then warden raised her concerns that the summerhouse would be left to rot or even be demolished, due to the immanent demolition of the Hosdonside building.

Through her suggestion and the help of Margret Brown of Coldmartin, Wooler, and her family, the summerhouse was moved to the Old Vicarage on the outskirts of Wooler, for the use of their residents.

The actual credit should go to the hard work of the group of teenagers in the Newts (now disbanded), who had the vision to provide such a grand facility for the elderly residents of the Wooler community.

Also to Margaret Brown and her family for the transportation and siting of the summerhouse at the Old Vicarage.

James Park,

Parent of two of the teenage Newts who were involved in helping with the vision.