The Young Carers Project has been providing support for young carers since 1997. Recently the service was reviewed by young people. Young people said that whilst they valued existing elements of the service, they wanted more support during transition years and also on an individual basis. As a result the service now has a system of individual reviews, which allows individual needs to be assessed ongoing and has also introduced a support group for older young carers.
Young people wanted a fully equipped gym especially designed for children and young people. Using a questionnaire the young people consulted their peers about gym usage and healthy activities. Following a successful bid to the Youth Capital Fund (YCF) the gym has been built.
A steering group of young people worked over a period of time to identify key concerns and the best ways to respond. They developed a number of Youth Cafes offering a range of creative activities. Attendance has grown and a number of young people volunteer at the cafes.
Young people unofficially built dirt jumps to ride their bikes on a piece of disused land at the edge of the village. As the parish owned the land, insurance was raised as an issue. The insurance company wouldn’t cover the jumps and they were pulled down in January 2006. Young people researched existing tracks and insurance situations to put forward a case to the parish council. They invited an experienced track builder to talk to the council and tackled the issue of fundraising. The council agreed the plans and loaned the cost of the build whilst fundraising continued. As a result of their success in securing their track the young people have formed a youth council and continue to make changes in their village.
Ainsley Teenage Action Group (ATAG) ran from 1979-1984. Young people were encouraged to think about what their concerns were, why these existed and to take action. During the five years the young people were visited by and liaised with local councillors and the police. They campaigned for their own youth club and got a porta-cabin placed on the estate. They visited other youth clubs to learn about running youth facilities and successfully ran the youth club on the estate for themselves and younger people. The story doesn’t end there. 25 years later, researchers found how enduring these changes were for those who took part.
The Adventure Learning Club is aimed at young people aged 13-18 who are interested in doing new and different activities. Young people suggested caving at a programme planning meeting. Potential problematic issues were discussed such as the weather and the extra cost for external instructors. The building of an indoor cave was suggested as a solution and young people set about raising funds through Youth Opportunities Fund and also the construction of the cave. A three story indoor cave has been built for many youth groups to use, and includes trap doors for easy exits if needed!
A young person affected by the installation of a mosquito device in his local town centre decided that he wanted it removed for both his benefit and that of other young people. Supported by a young people’s participation worker he contacted the local press, reported it to the police and registered a complaint to the council. The council, who had installed the device, removed it the next day.
The school youth council raised school litter as an issue. This coincided with the school’s introduction of the National Fruit Scheme. As crisp packets had been particularly identified as a litter problem it was agreed that children would eat fruit at break times and compost bins were provided for a trial period. The scheme was successful and has continued resulting in the reduction of litter and the promotion of healthier eating. The school generates compost now as well!
Young people said that they wanted to develop the local youth centre. A local councillor and a youth worker supported the young people in meeting with the Market Town Initiative. Following these meetings and based on the suggestions from young people lighting has been installed at the ball court, walls and fences painted and a new youth shelter has been built.
The Care Action Team (CAT) is a group of young people in and leaving care who work alongside Hampshire County Council (HCC) to develop services for children & families. Together they have developed the ‘passport to success’ which addresses the responsibility of Hampshire County Council towards looked after young people as a corporate parent. One of the issues raised was the need for access to driving lessons. As a result a bursary scheme has been developed which covers the cost of 20 driving lessons, a theory test and a practical test. The young people received a Wavemakers award in recognition of their achievements.