|"There is a real sense of community pride and achievement now on the Stonebridge Road Estate due to the groups work. My time spent with the group has shown me that no matter what age you are, you can make a difference."
Serious crime, prostitution and high levels of drug use were just some of the problems that affected the lives of people living on the Stonebridge Road Estate. The Make a Change group decided that they had to take action.
After Youth Act training sessions the group got involved in a number of different ways. Initially, they carried out a survey to find out the views of residents on the estate about safety and facilities and used this to organise a Make a Change Day on the estate.
The day took place in August 2004 and was attended by councillors, MPs and people from the local community. The group wanted to show the councillors what the estate is really like and asked them to support the group by helping to fund their project. The Stonebridge Youth Group made presentations, there were music performances by local young people, a barbecue and a 3-a-side football tournament.
Their determination, hard work and commitment to working together to make a difference has really paid off. They have secured 2400 from the Community Chest Grant for new basketball nets, persuaded the Council to install a new bright light by their football 'cage and arranged for dangerous/damaged play equipment to be removed from a park on the estate. Also, their appearance on BBC Newsnight in July 2004 was a major boost for the campaign, prompting Haringey Council to clean up rubbish dumped on the estate.
They continue to work closely with the community, organising a Community Clear-Up day and consultation meetings with the local council.
In December 2004 In December 2004 the Make a Change group shook hands with ITVs Trevor McDonald as they received their Philip Lawrence Award for outstanding citizenship.They are now using 500 of their award to create,. design and distribute a comic book for young people about the changes they are making on the estate.
However, they feel that it is not only their estate that has changed:
"Youth Act! has given us more confidence to talk to people, which really helped when we did our survey on the estate. The training helped us to think of more effective ways of achieving results such as carrying out the estate-wide survey. Although we all knew each other before Youth Act! were stronger now as a group than ever before. More young people have joined our campaign. We would definitely recommend other young people to get involved in Youth Act! but they should be prepared for lots of hard work!"
Gary and Jordan