Youthact! Project in
High Peak

New Mills Shelter Project

Originally formed in 2003 Josh, Kym and Lyndsey are the leading members of the New Mills Youth Shelter Campaign. Assisted by their youth workers Sarah and Faye, teh group have campaigned for four years to build a new youth shelter in New Mills, Derbyshire and to confront negative perceptions of young people in Derbyshire. In late 2006, they finally suceeded and in 2007 built their first youth shelter!

Project started: May 2006

When their local youth shelter was closed due to drug use the New Mills campaign group decided to take action. After the closure, young people in New Mills found they had few places to go and ended up hanging around in bus shelters in the closest town where they were often moved on by police.

"The young people I work with felt strongly that there were no safe spaces for them to hang out in the local area...They felt that by building a shelter for them to meet and interact in, there would be fewer negative interactions with the police and locals and, as a result, relationships between young people and the rest of the local community would improve."

The group kick started their campaign with surveys in New Mills amongst residents and young people. One of the biggest challenges the group came up against was addressing the concerns expressed by residents and the police about the potential anti-social behaviour of young people using the shelter.

To address this they spoke at public meetings, ran sessions with residents and approached local media to cover their story. In late 2006 after 3 years of dedicated campaigning action, the group successfully raised the fifteen thousand pounds needed to construct the shelter but due to their efforts to include the whole community in their thinking and plans, they feel that the general opinion held about young people in the community has drastically improved!

The group is now working on raising money to build another two shelters so that young people can socialize locally and be part of their community rather than travelling to another town which may have leisure facilities for young people.

Youth Act training and campaigns are running throughout London. A national Youth Act Train the Trainers programme is also available. Please contact the Youth Act team for more information 020 7566 5033 or email Ade Sofola (

This project is based on the internationally successful Youth Act! programme of street law begun by Street Law Inc in the United States (, which has campaigned to increase provision for homeless people, challenge discrimination and reduce gun crime.

Printable version of this page. Printable version

Latest News