YoH (Youth on Health) groups were established within the Primary Care Trust to enable young people to have a say on health issues that mattered to them. Young people conducted research within local schools and came up with a number of proposals to improve the nutritional value of food. They also addressed issues of how lunch times were organised. Changes made included abolishing separate dinning for pupils with packed lunches so friends can sit together, healthy vending machines and the introduction of salad bars and water fountains.
The YoH (Youth on Health) group raised emotional wellbeing and anti-bullying as issues that they would like to research in their schools. Young people have made a number of proposals in order to increase emotional wellbeing and reduce bullying within schools. Changes made include, worry boxes in classrooms, ‘bubble time’ (space to talk things over), playground friend schemes and friendship stops to avoid isolation at break times.
The YoH (Youth on Health) group said they would like to improve the environment within schools. Young people carried out research on environmental issues and came up with proposals to take back into the schools. Changes made include increases in school recycling, composting bins for the kitchens, litter pickers in schools and themed recycling bins in the playground
A group of young people ran a consultation, via questionnaires with other young people on their estate. They found that respondents wanted more facilities for young people, inlcuding a multi purpose sports area, a skate park, seating and shelters. They presented their findings to a group of local decision makers. A multi use game area enabling young people to play basketball and football has been built. A new shelter and bench area has also been created.
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.
Young people wanted to improve the school image especially the unsightly run down greenhouse. They approached their principle with the idea of renovating the greenhouse in order to run a business growing plants as part of their business enterprise course. The young people’s original idea has expanded to include the planting of a colourful flower bed, growing vegetables as part of home economics and clearing a picnic area for the school to eat lunch outside.
Street Dreams worked with young people in the Betchley area to investigate the issues relating to local racist attacks. Young people identified the key themes of parental influence, territorialism and the development of youth facilities. In response to this young people now have the opportunity to use the football facilities once a week at a local school as long as they form a racially mixed team. Violent racist attacks have significantly reduced a month after the project started.
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.