Back in 2001 there was a concern that the youth in the Lakenham and Tuckswood area had no programmes run for them. Instead of being offered places to go and hang out, there was nothing except for them to be on the streets. In order to combat this growing problem and the dangers that can arise with young people spending more time on the streets of this area, we organised and opened a youth group on Thursday evenings where young people can safely hang out together and benefit from the time they spend in our building. It started simply with games such as pool and table tennis, but over the years has developed into a space for games as a group and discussions on cultural topics such as friendship, self image and mental health.
At seasonal points in the year, the youth come together with the Children's club for annual events. At these times, the young adults are encouraged to volunteer as helpers with the kids, or to integrate and encourage the children in the activities on offer. We provide the youth with more mature sessions and teach them to take up responsibilities within a safe environment where they can be challenged and grow together. This has led to many of our youth joining our volunteer team on a regular basis.