Young people from the traveller community had been telling their detached workers on the local estate that that they were getting into trouble for fishing illegally. The Youth Opportunity Fund in Wiltshire (WYPOF) offered a way to legalise the activities that people were already engaged in. Young people applied for YOF funding to secure 10 licences, fishing and camping equipment.
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.
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.
Shine is a project that takes a renovated library bus to visit local Gypsy and Traveller sites. The facilities are generally used by young children. Young women from one site requested support separate from the younger children and said that they needed access to the internet. The young women were supported in making a successful Youth Opportunities Fund bid and were awarded money to purchase laptops with wireless internet connections and a printer. Online access means that anything that the young women wish to research is now possible, including career guidance and driving test theory support.
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 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.
After a consultation exercise with Cheshire West PCT, the teenage pregnancy midwife and 123 pregnant teenagers who attend the young people’s clinic, changes were put in place based on their responses to help make the service more accessible. One radiographer was replaced with a more approachable member of staff and some services have been developed to be taken out to the young people. Drop in clinics are now operating in hot spot areas. These offer local support and access to services.
Young carers at the school meet regularly within the school timetable to share concerns with the school and seek support from each other. As a group the young carers now have permission to use mobile phones at school (unlike other pupils) in order to contact home when needed. They have requested and received extra cookery lessons. They also receive support from the school to deal with issues such as attendance and homework on an individual basis.
The Just 4 Girls (J4G) group provides a female environment that allows young women to overcome cultural barriers than can prohibit them from attending other leisure activities. Members of the group formed a Girls’ Forum in order to develop the range of activities on offer; in particular they wanted the opportunity to go climbing. They applied for a ‘Here to HELP’ award and this has helped with employing female only climbing instructors. As a result the J4G group are now able to take part in non-traditional sporting activities and continue to steer the delivery of the sessions.
Young people who attended a popular club night run by Racial Equality Newham wanted a more permanent place to go. Funding was secured from the Neighbourhood renewal scheme as well as the Jack Petchey Foundation and Youth Opportunities Fund to develop a purpose built centre. Young people were involved in the design and development of the new centre which opened March 2007. As well as providing many needed facilities identified by the young people it also provides a space for young people with shared interest to meet crossing racial divides.