Northallerton Youth Space
written by Jayne Shackleton, North Yorkshire Youth
Northallerton Youth Space was started just over a year ago off the back of concerns relating to anti-social behaviour in the town by young people. After direct consultation with the young people it was recognised that they only wanted a safe, warm, dry place to chill out with friends, wi-fi access and perhaps some food.
NYCC, Hambleton Community Safety Hub, local neighbourhood police, North Yorkshire Youth and the Town Council came together to look at providing this and Youth Space was set up in the Town Hall for free every Friday night 6.45 to 9pm. Free entry and free food/drinks provided. It is run by Jayne Shackleton supported by a group of volunteers.
Earlier this year FutureHY provided the Northallerton Youth Space with £500 to replace old equipment and introduce some new resources and activities. A regular feature is the ‘craft’ table where the students do activities like pebble painting, t-shirt painting, banner making, and designing posters for the Hambleton Council ‘How I keep myself safe’ campaign.
When Northallerton hosted the UCI Cycle Championships, Youth Space young people helped to paint some of the wooden bikes that were used to decorate the High Street and roundabouts.
During the summer Youth Space went ‘On Tour’ to local parks where they set up rounders and took pizza and drinks. This was very well received by the community showing how the Youth Space has helped to change how young people are perceived in Northallerton. Since the Youth Space was created, anti-social behaviour has reduced in Northallerton by 49%.
Plans for the future include a First Aid training session, British Sign Language Course and Leadership Awards for the older members of the group.
What Youth Space means to us…
“Youth Space to me means happiness, joy and fun. Laugh with mates and keeps us off the streets and out of trouble. There is nowhere else. I feel I can talk about anything and our feelings or worries and it is a safe place for us to be. I love it here”.