Following concerns raised by young people the youth service held a meeting at the town hall to explore their response to the Tsunami. Young people decided that they wanted to raise money for young people in Sri Lanka and develop an exchange programme. A steering group of young people was formed, called MAD (Make A Difference), to lead the youth response. MAD secured the facilities, interest and volunteer time to host three talent events in the local area. In addition YOF funds were secured and MAD is an Action Speaks Louder competition winner. To date £3,000 has been raised for people in Sri Lanka affected by the Tsunami. MAD members will visit a community project, identified by Action Overseas, to support local people with the financing and building of a new community centre. The work of MAD and the development of an exchange project continues.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund young people were invited to take part in a project that was to compliment the regeneration that was occurring within the Norfolk Park estate. Young people researched the concept of ‘change’ with local residents in order to use these ideas as the basis for a mural that was designed with input from local artists. The council installed new lighting within a local subway where young people situated their artwork. The subway is now a safer and more pleasant route for people to use within the local community.
Originally an after school club, Indigos recognised the need for an outdoor area for children and young people to play. Young people were saying that they were getting into trouble playing on the local streets. A local school offered Indigos a disused plot of land that was overgrown and used as a dumping ground. The children, young people and local residents cleared the land and have developed a space for adventure play, with many facilities. Agreed ground rules keep the children and young people safe and offer a space for children and young people to ‘go wild’, they lead the project and evaluate it themselves. The project has won two government awards because of the positive impact on the local community.
Following a global trade day at school, young people decided they wanted to do something practical to support Fairtrade. The school supported the groups Fairtrade fundraising activities and used Fairtrade products in the staff room. The young people went on to form Fairtradelicious which now supplies Fairtrade products to the local area and has a turnover of several thousand pounds.
Children and young people wanted to stop a planning application for an access road that would have destroyed a long standing play area. They formed an action group made up of local residents, organised a petition, wrote formal letters of opposition and attended planning meetings. The decision has been deferred whilst an alternative access point is found.
Young people originally wanted to revamp a bus stop that they regularly used as an unofficial youth shelter. This proposal was rejected because of concerns about noise and litter. At the same time the church council felt that the church buildings were underused and offered the undercroft building as an alternative venue for young people to meet. Local Network Funding helped to ensure the site was fit for purpose and equipped with facilities. The Welland Youth Group have agreed a contract with the development group of the church and have enjoyed the use of the undercroft for a number of years.
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.
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.
Young people in the village had been using a bus stop as an informal youth shelter. This had generated tensions with some residents living nearby. As a result of the tensions the parish council invited young people and local residents to a round table meeting. This established the need for young people to have a meeting place of their own. Connexions and Young Farmers worked with the young people in developing their plans whilst the council sought a suitable place to locate a youth shelter. The council supported the young people throughout the lengthy process and the young people now have a straw bale construction that they can call their own.