Youth provision was the top item on the agenda of the recent meeting of the Goole and Howden Local Action Team (LAT). East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s (ERYC) Integrated Youth Support Service Manager, Kevin Allen, attended to discuss long standing youth issues in Goole, particularly the youth provision at the Old Goole Youth Centre.
Mr Allen informed the meeting that the ERYC has a duty to create a single body to take care of youth support and develop an “Integrated Youth Support Strategy.” Regrettably at this time the potential of the Old Goole Youth centre cannot be taken forward. The major stumbling block being a local request for the building to have listed status, although a decision on this is expected by the end of July. In the meantime he confirmed that funding is available for an additional evening of youth activity each week, for the time being.
It is acknowledged that a lack of youth provision has a direct correlation with anti-social behaviour including arson. When the youth centre is open, according to the Police and Fire services, emergency calls are reduced.
“Over the recent months there have been many, many calls to the Police and Fire services, particularly in and around the Field House Farm site, these are costing a significant amount of money in man-hours. A relatively small investment in cash or in kind would enable the Old Goole Centre to open on more evenings or other appropriate activities provided - which would result in less calls for the emergency services, and therefore provide savings to the Police and Fire services. These savings could then be used in other priority areas, which would be especially relevant to Humberside Fire and Rescue - who are shortly to complete a controversial downsizing of the service provided in Goole”.
“The ERYC Youth Service is not the only player in youth provision in Goole and Old Goole, with many organisations having an interest and working in the town, these include the Police, Fire Service, Health, as well as the voluntary sector - working and engaging young people in a variety of positive projects and activities. The ‘Integrated Youth Support Strategy’ is a golden opportunity for all these groups to come together, share expertise and resources, and provide a better service for young people to be developed for the same, or even less money”.
“Involving young people in the decision making process is vital. Young people must be asked what they want and what their needs are. Without young people’s involvement from the beginning, the delivery of any youth provision would be not valued or looked after by them, and this is essential to the successful delivery of youth provision”.
“Only by working together, talking and listening to all members of the community can the Community workers and leaders of Goole and Old Goole hope to fully engage the young people of the town with the aim to produce responsible, healthy individuals. This will hopefully contribute to creating a stronger society for the future”.
“If we fail to build sustainable youth support, the cycle of disillusionment will continue which will impact on the well being of our local society. Ultimately engaging and helping the young people in Goole and Old Goole to feel valued, healthy and safe, is a process that must be undertaken and this will be one of my priorities as LAT Chairman for the coming year”.