Since before Covid struck the Parish Council has been addressing the issue of the lack of provision for the teenagers of the Parish. Many options have been considered and our conclusion is that the Wellbeing Hub offers a great opportunity as a place for young people to meet and engage in activities of their choosing. Priority is being given to activities for young people in the afternoons and funding has been made available to the Hub to pay for people to lead these activities. Ideally, we would like to employ a part-time youth worker but recruitment is proving surprisingly difficult.
We have been working with a team of students at Tarporley Sixth Form to help us to determine the activities that would best address the needs of teenagers. The output from the project, which included a survey completed by 550 students at the High School and in-depth research into the determinants of the wellbeing of young people, identified the things we need to do to address the issues that affect wellbeing.
What the students want is for the Hub to be a place where, first and foremost, it is good to hang out with the added advantage of it being a place where they can seek and get help with the things that bother them. To make it a go-to place to hang out together they believe that there have to be attractive activities on offer. They have proposed the following for early adoption:
There is a good evidence base for the positive effect of all of these on mental health and wellbeing.
Some students have offered to help us reach out to young people using the most popular social media that is accessed by young people. They have also suggested that we should organise study groups in the run up to exams.
Helen Ritchie, the Hub Manager, is working on all these ideas to put appropriate provision in place. To date she has organised an Art Workshop that has created artwork for the Medical Centre and the Hub; talks on Money Skills, The Digital World, everything to do with the cyber world eg safety, fake news, careers, and on Mental Health awareness and first aid basics, bicycle marking to deter theft; a Pottery Workshop; activity on the Green; weekly family fun days during August.
We would like to hear from teenagers and young adults who would like to participate in activities or would like to help us design and promote activities. We would also like to hear from adults who can help us to run the activities.
Anyone who is interested should contact Helen at email@example.com or on 07498 482444.