The Council in partnership with others has recently started a series of ‘Youth Walks’ with local young people to get a real understanding of the challenges and strengths that they see in their local environment every day and, to identify where change might be needed. The walks began following a meeting with a group of young people from the EPIC Youth Forum. Armed with a large map of the borough, the team ask young people to pinpoint areas on the map related to things they like and dislike about living in the borough. They are interested in stories, not just feedback, to help them better understand the situations young people face every day as well as their ideas.
At the first meeting young people identified concerns around anti-social behaviour and poor lighting so the team invited colleagues from relevant Council departments to join a walk so they could see and hear about the issues first hand.
As a result of the walks, several suggestions from young people are being taken forward. The Community Safety team is hoping to recruit some young people from the walks to their Safer Neighbourhood Board which oversees community policing. Lighting on borough boundaries and promoting safer well-lit routes are some important issues being looked at. One local community association will also be working with young people to improve outdoor space through volunteering.
The walks will continue in the autumn term so if you know of a group of young people who would be keen to be involved, please let us know. It is hoped that this approach will be used by other Council services as a way of involving young people in change and decisions.
Please contact Hooda Sabbah on Hooda.Sabbah@rbkc.gov.uk if you have any queries or would like to participate in the next Youth Walk.