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31 October, 2006

Youth Act Residential

On 13th October 2006, young people from Warwick School, Walthamstow joined fellow new Youth Act recruits from the Skinners School, Hackney at Beaumanor Hall, Leicestershire for their Youth Act residential to work together on developing the skills, ideas and plans necessary to create campaigns for change in their local communities.

Training sessions on campaign planning, team work, decision making, negotiation and a range of sessions aimed at learning about communication through drama and outdoor activities were led by YOMO Training. YOMO training aims to inspire and support groups of young people to organise community projects in their local areas.

Youth Act residentials bring young people and their teachers, youth workers and other supportive adults together to learn and develop skills to support their campaigns.Residentials include 3 full days of training, workshops, group presentations and outdoor activities in a supportive, relaxed atmosphere where a strong emphasis is put on co-operation and learning from one another.

“I’ve learnt a lot about listening to other people on this residential. I talk a lot and usually I don’t think I am very prepared to let some one else have a go at saying what they think. Doing these Youth Act sessions I have learnt how important it is to encourage other people to have their say. Everyone here is really getting involved, even people who are very shy. The staff being so easy going and friendly, guiding us and treating us like equals really helps.” Jacob, Warwick School, 14

Throughout the 6 week training sessions and the residential provided to groups by the Youth Act project, groups work on issues that affect the lives of their communities.

Young people at the Skinner's School have chosen to tackle the issue of young people feeling there is no where to go and nothing to do in their community. They will campaign to both improve youth services in the community and organise community events to make young people in Hackney aware of the different facilities available to them.

“We want to find ways to get young people off the streets, making young people feel safer and happier knowing they’ve got somewhere to go after school where they can get help with school work and make the most of their talents.” Stephanie, 14

Young people at Warwick School for Boys have chosen to develop a campaign around improving community cohesion in Walthamstow.

“Walthamstow is a very diverse area- there are many religions and races and although we’re mixing at school, you never really feel that we are mixing as one when we are in the community. Some people have very wrong ideas like ‘Muslims are terrorists’ and ‘all Jewish people are just rich, money-making people’ – we want get the message across that we are the community, we are all these different people that people have the wrong idea about. We want to organise community events and talks in primary schools, getting people together to challenge these misconceptions.” Jacob, 14

Youth Act works to empower young people through campaigning for political and social change in their communities. Contact Carrie Supple (0207 566 4155) to find out more!

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