Passport scheme just the ticket for summer

Gosport kicked off its Summer Passport Scheme at Walpole Park.''Pictured is: Emma Luckins painting Mitchel Allen's (13) face.''Picture: Sarah Standing (132114-4949)

Gosport kicked off its Summer Passport Scheme at Walpole Park.''Pictured is: Emma Luckins painting Mitchel Allen's (13) face.''Picture: Sarah Standing (132114-4949)

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WIND and rain did not put off youngsters determined to have fun at the launch of a summer scheme.

Dozens of children climbed a rock wall, played the drums and got their faces painted at Gosport’s Summer Passport Scheme in Walpole Park.

It aims to give youngsters the chance to do something different during the long summer break – all for £1.

Kayleigh Buckley, 15, is a pupil going into Year 11 at Brune Park School.

She was at the event yesterday – for the fourth year – waiting to get her face painted.

She said: ‘Since Year 7 I’ve always come to the passport scheme.

‘You get to meet new people and know the staff over the years, it’s just fun.

‘I’ve done scuba diving, rock climbing, zorbing and speed boating.’

Kayleigh added she is coming back each day over the three weeks it will be running.

Already 250 youngsters have registered on the scheme, with organisers hoping that will rise to 500.

Last year saw a total of around 250 children take part.

It runs each week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until August 15.

The annual scheme is organised by the Gosport Community Safety Partnership, which uses the event to reduce petty crime over the summer.

As previously reported in The News, Simon Hayes, the police and crime commissioner for Hampshire police, allocated £12,500 to the scheme.

And he was at Walpole Park yesterday to see how this summer was kicking off.

He said: ‘It gives young people something to do over the holidays.

‘They learn skills from it, which they can take forward into the future.

‘For the first time this year there will be sailing as well, with Gosport, the Solent and the sea, it’s exciting.’

Mayor of Gosport Councillor John Beavis is the chairman of the Community Safety Partnership.

He said: ‘It’s a good diversionary activity over the summer, which is helpful for our community safety.

‘It reduces petty crime, where children get bored and start doing things they shouldn’t.’

For a list of days and locations see safergosport.co.uk

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