Youth unaware of what to do - report

By Ian Dipple 27/04 Updated: 27/04 09:32

THERE is plenty for young people to do but many are unaware of what is available to them or cannot get to places to take part - a review into youth provision in the borough has found.

A lack of proper promotion together with the cost of activities, poor public transport links and the fact young people were unwilling to travel to other parts of Redditch because of a feeling of being an outsider were also highlighted as barriers by the Youth Services Provision Task Group.

The review was set-up in response to Worcestershire County Council’s decision to close Redditch Youth House and cut funding for other activities. It is hoped the findings will help inform the newly formed commissioning group which will decide how funding for youth services is spent in future.

Coun Simon Chalk, chairman of the review, told a meeting of Redditch Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee: “I was a teenager in Redditch 17 or so years ago and was under the impression there was nothing to do in Redditch and nothing had changed in 17 years. It turned out I may have been very wrong.”

But he added they also had to rethink what young people were after.

“What we think young people want, organised buildings, expensive games machines, they don’t want any of that they just want a place they can go where they are safe, warm, out of the rain and they can hang out with their mates.

“They want to be able to do things together. They don’t want to be shouted at for going out and playing on a bit of grass and being told there’s no ball games here.”

The review found young people were unaware of events like Morton Stanley Festival and the Reddicard and few used the council’s website and were unwilling to use anything that was council branded. None of the group consulted had heard of the Plug and Play website designed to promote local events and activities.

One of the main recommendations of the review was a new dedicated Redditch youth website, increased used of social networking sites, promotion of the Plug and Play site and the Frog Intranet system used by the town’s high schools, including information about bus timetables and routes.

Another key proposal was employing a dedicated youth work co-ordinator to help voluntary and community groups provide youth activities and market and promote what is available.

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