Some of the Ward’s young people will tell us about their hopes and ambitions and what there is to do in the ward. Sharron Hutchinson will introduce the Youth Services Team and give an update on their activities.
Sharron Hutchinson, Area Team Leader, introduced the Youth Team. Terry Kiernan Senior Youth Worker, Jay and Lizzy, Youth Workers. She also introduced two young people who were going to talk to the meeting, they were Louis and Phil.
Terry told the meeting about the activities of the Youth Service.
In Rawcliffe they meet on Mondays from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Usually there are between 20 to 25 young people at the sessions. They cover; arts & crafts, sport, football, cooking and so on. Some of the budget supplied by the ward committee helped to buy new equipment. Young people get involved in preparing and deciding the programme of events. The aim is to develop social skills and augment their education.
The plans for the future involve working more closely with the police to promote a football tournament as part of Operation Dawn. To hold some outdoor activities, a music workshop and a trip away.
In Skelton the sessions are held between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. there are between 10 to 15 young people at these sessions. They cover; arts & crafts, sport, football, cooking, music, sexual health and so on. As in Rawcliffe young people are part of the management committee and get involved in planning and arranging the programme of activities.
Some of the activities planned are; a first-aid workshop because it is useful to prospective employers and looks good on a CV. Another music workshop, outdoor activities and a residential course.
In Clifton Without the service still operates a session at Canon Lee School but is also doing outreach work there. They spend two to three hours going out and approaching young people on the streets to try to develop a relationship with them with a view to encouraging them to attend sessions and activities.
The team is trying to encourage more young women to come along to the sessions in all areas.
Louis then spoke about the benefits of the Youth Service and what they young people get out of it.
It’s a safe place to meet friends and it keeps them off the streets. They learn new skills and about; sexual health, music technology, cooking, arts & crafts. They are trying to organise a weekend fishing trip.
It’s a safe and warm place to meet new people and to approach older-people they feel safe with to ask for advice. They have access to music kit, break dance workshops and things they wouldn’t normally be able to do.
Sometimes the police interfere when they are just out enjoying themselves.
Some of the equipment they have bought is; A Wii, a new television, table-tennis table, pool table, cooking equipment etc.
Q. What do you cook?
A. We try to cook healthy eating, we’ve cooked organic white bread, and curries.
Terry said that the also do a taste test where they cook something and see if they like it, which they normally do.
Q. We’ve seen no sign of youth workers in the area of Clifton Library recently, what has the serice been doing in Clifton?
A. Youth workers walk the area to meet young people. As a starting point they try to build a relationship with them. Sharron and Terry go out in Clifton Without on Monday nights after the Rawcliffe session. The youth workers’ time is split equally between all three parishes with the work in Clifton Without being outreach work.
Q. You’re trying to get more young women involved, what activities do you have to offer them?
A. Arts & crafts sessions, batique, clay modelling and that sort of thing. Once we have some young women we can get them involved in planning sessions to encourage more young women to come along.
Q. We’re very pleased to see youth giving something back and doing something constructive. Are there any opportunities for the young people to help residents.
A. This group is very positive about doing something and working with residents.
The young people wanted this chance to let the residents know how grateful they are to the ward committee and how it has improved things for them. Young people can feel victimised and need to be engaged and involved in what’s going on locally.