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Start Your Own Project!

Don't ask what the environment can do for you, ask what you can do for the environment.

Interested in starting your own community project? It's not as hard as you think. You'll be surprised how many people will want to get involved.

Planet Patrol has some tips which may help your success rate:

1. Produce a leaflet telling your neighbourhood what the problem is and what you are hoping to do, ie. a working bee. Don't presume everyone knows about the problem or cares about it as passionately.

2. Try to put it in everyone's letterboxes fairly well in advance as people are really busy at weekends. Ask a few neighbours which day is best for them, Saturday or Sundays? Many people use Saturdays for shopping. Sunday morning for church. Everyone is doing other things by the afternoon. We first chose Sunday but will alternate with Saturday.

3. Give a clear map of where to meet. What time to meet. What to wear. What to bring. Who will be there and what is going to happen.

4. Talk to your local council. They will probably offer to supply tools, poison, plants etc., depending on what sort of project you're doing. Ours also provided a free BBQ for everyone....yummy!

5. Make sure you log everyone's name down who attends. This is important for legal reasons too.

6. Get started as soon as possible. Make sure you give everyone the same information and ensure they all know what particular job they're doing.

7. Remember that kids can do a lot, but we're not allowed to handle poison and little kids will need supervision and lots of encouragement when they get hot and tired.

8. Ok, so a friend you haven't seen for ages turns up. Do you spend the time sitting down and chatting, nope! You are there to show that kids can be committed and hard working. So work together, but keep the chatting till after the work you set out to do is done.

9. We also sent a little card afterwards to everyone who volunteered to tell them how much we appreciated them working with us. We had 37 volunteers including lots of kids, on a hot day just before Christmas. We have loads of people from our neighbourhood who are really excited about helping at our next working day.

If you have a project you're thinking of doing but don't know how to get it started, ask us, and together we might come up with some ideas. You could also ask us for some ideas for projects if you want to help but can't think what to do. Projects can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

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