A nice story from Chaz Jones with the strong underlying message, "Dont' jump to conclusions when you see groups of teenagers."
"While driving to the airport to work on Saturday morning, I spotted a group of about a dozen young people, working on the edge of the fields by the Manston Road up near the junction by Reclamet. They have been out doing something along the Manston Road field verge for several weeks. There always appeared to be adults with them, and a couple of cars.
I have assumed for the last few months that this bunch of yobs were paying their debt to society with some good old fashioned hard labour, and smiled at their discomfort!
Yesteday, having finished by late morning, I went home via Reclamet, to collect a tyre for my sons kerb bounced metro. As I rounded the corner, there was this bunch of 'yobs' again. What I saw however was them, with the adults, all laughing! Curiosity then got the better of me, and I went back to ask them who they were, and what they were doing.
It turns out that these, NICE, young people are indeed doing Community service, not for the courts, but for their Duke of Edinburgh's award badge! They were planting a hedgerow, sponsored by Quex Park estates, and have planted some 1500 plants since November. They have in fact planted a hedge and trees all the way from the Reclamet corner down to Shottendane Road over the last 2 years, as well as other sites all over the rest of the area.
The adults were teachers who run the Award and the youngsters were from several local schools and colleges. They have been going for ten years, have planted nearly 20,000 plants, and go under the name of the 'Trees for Thanet' group. They proudly showed me their group's badge stuck onto the side of their trailer.
I told them who I thought they were, and it appears, they think that everyone else thinks that as well! So, next time any of your readers are driving along the Manston Road, and see a bunch of kids on their knees, give them a 'toot' and a cheery wave. This bunch of kids are good ones, giving up their time for a worthwhile cause, and also trying to make Thanet a nicer place to live in."