Doo The Right Thing Initiative

What’s it all about?

Doo the Right Thing Initiative was set up to provide a diversionary and educational activity for young people in the Maybole area who were on the periphery of antisocial behaviour or at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour as a result of underage or binge drinking. The project focuses on getting young people in the area involved in the care and development of a team of racing pigeons gifted to them by members of Maybole Pigeon Club.

It was anticipated this initiative, which is not related specifically to sport and could be enjoyed by a mixed group of girls and boys, would help give young people confidence and enable them to develop meaningful links with older members of the community and share a common goal. It would also allow the Community Safety Team to engage with targeted young people in a different format.

How does it work?

Helped by Pigeon Club members, the young people involved in the project take responsibility for feeding, cleaning, assisting in training and eventually racing 32 young pigeons. All the young people are especially encouraged to take ownership of the care and maintenance of the pigeon loft. To ensure long term interest, the young people are given free membership of the Club and are supported to participate in racing with the Ayrshire North Road Federation for the duration of the young bird season. They are also presented with a Diploma at the end of the year.

Regular sessions with the young people are arranged on Friday evenings which can be their key 'drinking time'. If they don't take part in the Friday night sessions, they will be unable to take proper care of their bird and will not be able to compete in subsequent races.

What happened?

A special pigeon related class project was set up in Cairn Primary School. The young people were allocated a pigeon and received updates on the progress it made together with pictures of the bird. The pigeons competed in seven races and prizes were awarded to the owners of the first three pigeons each week.