“Didn’t take long” to engage with the youth

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Young people in Buckingham have been working with the community and raising suggestions for how to make the town work for them.

Efforts to consult and engage with 14 - 18 year olds gathering in public spaces during the evenings have been called a ‘success’, with young people asking for further sessions to run in the winter months.

According to a report published on November 7, the eight week outreach, organised by youth group Supporting Young People in Buckingham (SYPiB), in conjunction with Bucks County Council, led to suggestions that the town would benefit from the introduction of a ‘young person’s cafe’ where teenagers could socialise.

Corrinna Martin, founder of SYPiB, said: “it’s been worth doing, our volunteers have enjoyed it and it’s definitely been useful.

“It’s great news that [Bucks County Council] are willing to continue to support us. Over the next few weeks I will be looking at recruiting a team of volunteers to continue the work.”

The idea of bringing ‘detached work’, where youth workers and volunteers approach and talk with young people on the streets, to Buckingham developed following small incidents of anti-social behaviour around the town.

Mark Hanna, SYPiB, said: “It’s quite easy for the public to target young people who gather together, but it’s actually great to see so many kids using the skatepark as a place to socialise. We often approach situations like these with suspicious adult minds.”

Cllr Warren Whyte, cabinet member for children’s services at Bucks County Council commented: “It is a great example of the community coming together and creating positive solutions”

To learn more or to get involved, contact Corrinna at SYPiB@outlook.com or visit www.facebook.com/groups/804279273079975

Buckingham Activity Group are also seeking advice from young people on how they might improve the range of activities they offer. Teenagers who contribute to the group’s survey will be entered into a prize draw, and could win a £50 voucher.

The group have asked: “How often do you hear young people complaining that there is nothing to do in Buckingham? Well, there are quite a few opportunities there already, but we’re conducting a survey to identify what many consider to be missing from the mix.”

Formed of members of various local organisations, agencies and funds, the Buckingham Activity Group have previously arranged popular basketball coaching sessions during the summer holidays.

The group have also previously bought TV cooking phenomenon “The Great British Bake Off” to the town, organising a “Great Buckingham Youth Bake Off” as part of the Food Fair in February.

The ‘Blood, Guts and Gore’ first aid course and cage cricket sessions have also been ideas bought by the group.

“We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg of what might be wanted or needed – and who better to come up with ideas than our young people themselves.”

Young residents, aged 11 to 18, may have already come across the questionnaire in question, which has made its way round various youth clubs, organisations, and secondary schools.

The group added: “If you are the parent or guardian of someone in this age range, please encourage them to complete the survey. All ideas will be considered.”

Interested teens should send an email to buckinghamactivitygroup@gmail.com asking for the survey to be shared with them. Entries close on December 1.