IN 2017 the young people of Radstock and Westfield were invited to tell us what they want to see happen in their community.
This is what they told us:
This report is based on feedback from a total of 575 young people (aged 11-19, up to 25 with additional needs) participating in a youth consultation that live in Radstock and Westfield wards in November - December 2017.
Whilst the consultation asked young people to say if they live in Radstock, Westfield or elsewhere in the ward, responses demonstrate that young people self-identify in other ways and have an expectation that they will use services across the area rather than being confined to one part of it.
Parents participating also showed an expectation that their children would move between Westfield and Radstock to access services.
55.3% of young people said that there is not enough for young people to do in their area.
Some young people already participate in a wide range of out of school activities with ‘Sport’ being the most popular. This includes playing for school teams as well as in the community.
The fourth most popular way to spend time outside of school is to attend a local youth club. Young people say the positive relationships built with youth workers is one of the main reasons that they attend regularly.
The most popular reasons given for never going to a youth club is lack of interest in the activities offered, not being sure what happens in a youth club and not knowing where local youth provision is.
The most popular youth club to attend is Radstock Youth Club. Many club members also go to Peasedown Youth Club, which was the most cited club in the ‘Other’ category on the questionnaire.
The most requested time for youth provision to be open is at the weekend, particularly Friday and Saturday night and Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon is also considered a good time, particularly by younger participants (Years 7 & 8). The most popular week night for a youth club is Wednesday.
Pupils in year 7 and 8 are most likely to say they rely on parents for information about local provision as well as practical help like transport and paying for entrance fees. This changes in year 9 and by Year 10-13 young people are most likely to get their information from friends and social media. School also plays an important role in promoting what is on locally for all pupils.
With this in mind, effective communication with parents and new ways of promoting services should be considered so that young people know what is on in their area and become familiar with local youth workers. This could be in school or in the community as suggested by young people.
Older young people (16+) using current provision and year 11 pupils from Norton Hill showed great interest in becoming peer educators and peer mentors. In particular they feel this would be effective in raising awareness about substance misuse, online safety, body image and bullying.
72% of young people say they would like more of a say in their community and be given opportunities to shape local services for them.
20% say that they would like to take part in fundraising opportunities, with young people in Westfield and Radical Youth Club saying that they want to raise money so their clubs can be open more than one night a week.
26% of respondents said they would like to undertake some form of voluntary work to gain experience and learn new skills.
The top six concerns for young people are bullying 63%, drugs 61%, exam stress 57%, alcohol 56% and body image 45%. Within the focus groups 100% said they had some experience of bullying, be it as a target, perpetrator or bystander.
35% of young people identified issues that impact negatively on mental health and emotional wellbeing, in particular exam stress.
Although 45% of young people identify crime as a local concern, 76% say they feel safe all or most of the time. This suggests that links between fear of crime and actual crimes, reported or otherwise, needs further analysis to better understand the reasons behind the discrepancy.
Within school focus groups a lack of public transport and/or the money to pay for it were cited as a major obstacle to accessing services for young people. However, this was not evidenced by the questionnaires where 28% identified road safety as a higher concern compared with 24% that ticked transport.
Similarly, young people discussing this in youth club focus groups said that transport is not an issue because they walk everywhere, often attending more than one club in a week.
Affordable housing is an issue for young people aged 17+, especially those that attend Radstock and Radical Youth Club. They voiced an opinion that any community development being undertaken is going to benefit those moving to the area rather than young people who have grown up there.