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.
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 appropriate accommodation. As a result HCC has developed supported lodging schemes and foster placements are maintained till the age of 21 for those in further/ higher education. The young people received a?Wavemakers?award in recognition of their achievements.
The Young Tenants Forum was invited to comment on the multi-storey charter that was in operation for new tenants. Young people said that the document was hard to understand and was often received after tenancy had begun rather than prior to moving in. The council has now changed the document so that it is easier to understand with the help of the forum and it is given out with the offer of a flat so that young people are aware of the expected agreement in advance.
The Young Tenants Forum raised the issue of accessibility with the council in relation to the housing services interview rooms. Young people provided a practical demonstration of the issues using a pushchair and made recommendations for change. The council has now rearranged the furniture and fittings for greater ease of access for both pushchair and wheelchair users.
As part of the Partners for Change programme Swindon Library Service has been involving young parents and looked after young people in the development of its services. Young people wanted more space for the proposed young people’s section of the library and young parents felt that the library offered nothing for them. The children’s section of the library has been redesigned. Young parents from two local housing associations are able to use the library as a neutral base for their Getting Connected courses. A young people’s section of the library has been developed, and the youth forum continues to strengthen its links with the library service.