Putting young people in the driving seat for youth services

19 December 2018

A new youth service for Kensington and Chelsea, developed by young people, will be launched in September 2019. Focusing on what young people want, it will give them the services they have asked for and more say than ever before in future developments.

Overwhelmingly, young people have told us they want more of a say on things that affect them. Any young resident can seek to take part in Youth Forums, which, working with a Young Commissioner, will be responsible for identifying additional ‘pop up’ activities young people want with a fund of £40,000 per year.

Further empowering young people, a Youth Parliament will be set up in 2019, with a Young Mayor. This will give young people the opportunity to identify and focus on issues that are important to them and work with the Council in taking decisions that affect young people. This will be the biggest democratisation for young people ever seen in the borough.

Proposals also include opening two youth hubs, one in the north and one in the south of the borough, five youth centres, plus two water sport clubs, as well as a broader range of activities and pop up events across the borough in a variety of locations, including public spaces, parks and more formal settings.

Since February 2018 1,015 people and organisations, including 771 young people (11 to 19) have had their say on what young people in the borough need. The broad themes that they have identified are:

• Future and Ambition
• Crime and Safety
• Community and Environment
• Living Healthy, Happy Lives

Activities will range from life skills such as support in preparing CVs and interview techniques to a stronger culture and creative programme of activities such as dance, theatre and music production. The new offer will provide enterprise and career support, include sports provision and health and wellbeing related programmes.

There will also be new, in-house ‘Early Help’ team, which will see a dedicated, specialist team of outreach workers based in the community, to help vulnerable young people. The outreach worker will help with a range of different concerns, including not attending school, young people struggling during family breakdown, suffering from abuse or at risk of taking part in youth violence. Bringing the service in-house means youth workers can work with young people to provide a range of specialist support and additional services.

Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Families, Children and Schools, said: “We want young people to be happy, safe and supported to have as many opportunities as possible. I would urge all young people to make the most of this chance to have an impact on their services and help design something we can all be proud of.”

Abdi Aden, Earl's Court Youth Centre Co-ordinator, added: "This is a great opportunity for the club to develop and deliver much needed services for young people."

If you are a young person who wants to get involved in developing the new youth services or get more information go to www.rbkc.gov.uk/youth-inform or email youth.inform@rbkc.gov.uk

These will be discussed by the Leadership Team and are expected to be agreed and the next stage of work will then begin.

From January 2019 young people will work with the Council on exactly what services are wanted and will be inviting organisations to put forward their proposals on delivering them. Young people will then be closely involved in deciding which of these best suit their needs.