Young people told their police liaison at school that they wanted to get involved in working with the police. In response Youthwatch was developed that would run along similar lines as neighbourhood watch within the school. Young people identified the theft of their mobile phones as being a big issue for them. Youthwatch were trained to mark mobile phones and other goods by the police. Youthwatch held lunch time sessions to mark pupils’ phones and raise awareness. Incidents of mobile phone theft were reduced by 50% within the town and local feeder towns for the school. The young people received a Wavemakers Award in recognition of their achievements and initiative.
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.
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.
Young people said that they wanted somewhere safe to meet in the evenings. The youth council proposed a youth cafe which was agreed by the town council. The cafe called Barcode was opened in October 2005. Barcode has been a great success and regularly hosts music nights and a range of entertainment for young people in the local area.
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.
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.
Young people who used Mesnes Park complained to detached youth workers that the park was unsafe and had few facilities for them. The detached team challenged young people to do something about this; in response young people formed a youth action group. The action group raised the issue with the council and worked to gain the opinions and support of other young people. As a result the regeneration of the park has become a prominent community issue. Temporary lighting and a skate ramp has been put in place for the short term, and the action group is involved in the planning for the longer term regeneration. The experience of the youth action group has reinvigorated the youth council. The process has highlighted the importance of young people’s participation and the council and other organisations are increasingly seeking to involve the young people in their work.
Young people identified racism as an issue within this multi-cultural area and wanted to improve relationships within their community. The project identified a suitable training course for the young people who met regularly and invited other members of the community to join their project. The young people organised and helped run a fun day to bring all members of the community together. The young people feel that they have improved relationships between different cultures in the area.
Following incidents of anti social behaviour young people and local residents decided to create somewhere for young people to go. Young people and other members of the community applied for funding and the Burysed Community Youth project has been established. The centre now has a formal Board of Trustees and is ran by volunteers from the local community.
Some members of the community were concerned about young people just ‘hanging about’. The council consulted with everyone and found that young people wanted a safe warm space to meet friends. In response the Westside initiative was started, held at the local comprehensive school, every Friday for young people. Over 200 young people regularly attend, anti-social behaviour in the area has been reduced and partnership working has increased.