Young People Help To Establish New Youth Shelter
The opening of a new Youth Shelter in the city means young people in the Charleston area now have a place to meet up socially, outwith school, whatever the weather. To complement the covered shelter which is located near the local shopping centre, facilities for young people in the area have been improved with the installation of new play equipment in two local play areas. Plans are also underway for new football goals to be erected.
Pupils from Charleston Academy have had a key role to play in securing the shelter and the new play equipment. They have worked with school staff and the Council’s Youth Development team to carry out consultation with Primary schools and the wider community, research the estimated costs of the equipment, identify what the play priorities were and look at preferred sites for the shelter.
One of the sessions to gauge local demand for a Youth Shelter was centred around a midnight football event which proved to be very popular and local youth clubs also gave useful feedback to the pupils driving the project forward.
Early in March local community leaders were consulted on the preferred options for locating the shelter. Invited groups included Community Council, Community Centre Management Committee, secondary and primary schools’ Parent Councils, the Head Teachers of the schools, the local Church, and the police.
Purchase of the new play equipment came from the local Councillor’s Discretionary Budget.
Councillor Alex Graham said: "Putting in a youth shelter is a bit of "no-win" assignment. Everyone wants something done for young people but can't agree what and where.
"This location near Charleston shops was the most suitable in the area, and so far there have been no problems reported to me."
"The shelter will be continually monitored and supported, and hopefully it will be a success."
Councillor Pauline Munro said: “I am delighted that the Youth Shelter has been built and congratulate everyone involved. The pupils involved in seeing this project through are a credit to their peers, schools, families and the whole community. The project has allowed them to do something constructive in their community. I also appreciate some people raised concerns during the consultation and I would like to give them the reassurance that we will be watching carefully to see how this new shelter works.”
“My long term priority is to ensure the needs of young people are met.
So I will continue to put pressure on the Council to provide adequate youth worker provision in the ward.”
The impact of the youth shelter is to be monitored regularly at Ward Business Meetings, with input from Northern Constabulary. A formal review is to be held at the September.