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.
Young people identified, during a consultation that there was nowhere for young people in Darton to hang out. A group, Parklife was formed with young people to look at ways in which parks in the area could be improved. Parklife organised a number of events, one of which was a trial skate park. The skate park was a great success and after applying for and receiving funding a permanent skate park is about to be built.
Young people wanted a safe play area for children to play in. They applied for and received Youth Capital funding. A nice and safe play area for the under 5s has been created.
In autumn 2003 shoppers at the Galleries Shopping centre began to express concerns about disruptive groups of young people. These young people were approached and a meeting held to discover what they felt needed to be done. It was found that there was little for young people to do in the area and that a youth centre was needed. The Washington Youth Group was formed and premises identified. The project was then outsourced to Oxclose and District Young people’s Project. The Galleries shopping centre has reported a 70% decrease in nuisance behaviour from young people. Some of the young people who attended the group are now training to be youth workers.
As part of the national ‘Ask Us’ project Solihull Council Parks Department trained young disabled people to act as researchers and be involved in the design of local play areas. The young researchers gave presentations to council officers and their representatives. Funding through the children’s fund was granted to make local parks accessible. Three local parks were redeveloped on the recommendations of the young people to make them inclusive and accessible.
The Herd is a group of young people who wish to make changes for young people in their local community. Supported by their church group Pioneer People, the Herd have previously provided a mobile skate ramp until a permanent build was secured from the council. The Herd wished to continue with the mobile aspect of their work, as they wanted to bring youth facilities to where young people are gathering. The Herd with the support of Pioneer people applied for the Youth Opportunity Fund and were able to fund and refit a double decker bus. The Herd are providing sports competitions, art projects, environmental projects computer games and film nights from the bus for other local young people.