Helston’s ‘Furry Youth Café’ needs your vote!
The Helston & Lizard Community Network has recently bid to The Big Lottery Fund/The People’s Millions to launch the ‘Furry Youth Café’ in Helston and I am absolutely delighted to tell you that the project has won a place on the final list of those going forward to a public vote!!
This does not guarantee that we will get the grant though, and that’s where you come in! The ‘Furry Youth Café’ will be featured on ITV West Country regional evening news between 6.00p.m., and 6.30p.m. on Thursday 25 November 2010.
The project that receives the most votes will be declared the winner and offered a grant. The vote takes place over a 15 hour period. Phone lines open at 9a.m. on 25 November and close at midnight – the winner will then be announced on ITV West Country regional evening news on 26 November.
We desperately need your votes!!
You can vote up to 10 times from any phone during the 15 hour period and the number to contact will only be announced on the morning of 25 November when I will contact you again with details. Please also look out for the number that day in the Daily Mirror and on The People’s Millions website from 9a.m. the same day http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/.
The People’s Millions website also gives you more information about the project and an opportunity to leave your comments, questions and messages of support – why not take a look?!
(More about the Furry Youth Café project)
The need for the ‘Furry Youth Café’ was identified by local young people in the Helston area of Cornwall, who made representations to Cornwall Council, the local Town Council, the Youth service, local Police (namely the PCSO’s) and via the various community groups about the lack of provision of a suitable safe, warm and supported meeting place for them to use in the town centre.
Following such representations, the Helston & Lizard Community Network of Cornwall Council, in partnership with South Kerrier Alliance (which is the local market and coastal towns initiative) and various other partner organisations, organised a consultation with young people to further assess the need for a Youth café and to more fully explore the reasons why there was market failure in this respect in the locality of Helston town centre.
The main aim of the project is to establish a much needed youth café in Helston, which meets the needs of the young people in the area and plugs a real gap in current provision.
The objectives are that the ‘Furry Youth Café’ will:
- Provide a much needed, warm and safe high street location meeting place for young people of the area. To include creative and reflective meeting spaces, a café area and the opportunity for them to engage in positive activity such as hobbies/games or just being with their friends;
- Provide the opportunity for the young people of the area to access support from key agencies including confidential one to one counselling support, access to information, advice and guidance on a range of pertinent topics;
- Provide the opportunity for the young people to gain enterprise and business skills, in the running of the youth café as a youth enterprise with the support of local business advisers;
- Positively address persistent issues such as youth unemployment, teenage pregnancy, anti-social behaviour including isolated incidents of arson, and the lack of positive role models for these young disadvantaged people to engage with;
- Inspire young people who use it (including those who have already formed a management group to fundraise) and will positively raise their awareness in relation to being a good citizen and learning new skills.
The Furry youth café would be a unique offer for the market town of Helston, Cornwall. There is currently no meeting place in the town centre which meets the needs of the young people. There is a youth club on the outskirts of the town, but this is difficult for many young people to access and given the issues with the lack of affordable and regular rural public transport in this part of Cornwall, young people experience significant barriers to accessing the support and space that they have stated they need.
Also, unlike many other towns in the UK, Helston as a small market town does not have any commercially owned cafés which open during the evening – there are no chains like Costa or Starbucks and the three independently owned cafés close at the very early hour of 3pm every day. Helston does not have a café culture or night time economy other than a few public houses, and clearly these would not be compatible with the aims and objectives for the youth café. So, there really is no viable alternative on the high street in the locality where the level of need is most acute.
Young people in the Helston and Lizard area will be the main beneficiaries of the project as it will provide the youth café facilities and associated support that they have identified themselves as being a glaring gap in their lives and in their local community. It will mainly support young people who are aged 12 years and above and it is proposed that there are different sessions for different age groups, so that the provision and support on offer is targeted most appropriately.
There will also be a number of significant indirect benefits to other members of the community:
The lack of a youth café and meeting space for these young people currently, has led to persistent social issues including instances of anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse and issues relating to heightened fear of crime from the older resident population who see gangs of young people hanging around the town and perceive they are causing trouble within the community.
This project would help to positively provide benefits including better inter generational understanding and mutual respect between young and older people and would help local retailers and businesses who also have issues with crime and disorder in the locality.
The longer term impacts of the Furry youth café project will be threefold; social, economic and environmental positive outcomes will be felt by the local community and the young people. The young people in the area will have increased their self esteem, self confidence and motivation as a result of being actively engaged in such an imaginative and positive experience of running their own youth café.
In addition, they will have significantly enhanced their skills base; new skills will include team building, relationship management, enterprise and business skills, negotiation skills, listening skills, planning, research and event management skills, financial management and personal budgeting skills and they will have gained a greater self awareness as a result of participating in the supported activities (including one to one and team activities) as part of the youth café offer. We also anticipate that through the above, the young people will have better employability potential.
We are also anticipating the positive, long lasting impact of the project will lead to a measurable reduction in anti-social behaviour, teenage pregnancies, fear of crime as perceived by the local older population and a greater sense of pride and citizenship in the local community.
We do hope you will support us with your vote – and don’t forget to tune in to ITV West Country on 25 November!
Please feel free to circulate this information via any means