Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Follow up to Ladywell Forum on Youth Provision

Apologies for the time it has taken me to post this report on our ward forum as promised.

Our first forum (Nov 9th) was reasonably well-attended with about 30 people. We had a number of people attend with a specific interest in youth provision - eg council officers from the extended schools and youth services teams, representatives from church youth clubs, one of the young mayor's advisors, a number of young people and parents from the area, PCSO Graham Andrews, who has been carrying out surveys on youth provision with local young people, a representative from 'Teach Sport' the organisation that ran the 'Summer Alive' sport activities that took place on Hilly Fields this summer. Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend, as well as those who couldn't attend but expressed an interest in being involved.

Below are notes from the meeting (not necessarily my views, but reflective of opinions expressed at the meeting by both young people and adults). Gill Wills, the Extended Services Manager, has agreed to set up a steering committee to take things forward and is hoping to organise another meeting/taster activity event early in the new year. If you would like to be involved with this steering group, please contact either me or Gill directly. I will also post up soon a summary of the feedback from the surveys that PCSO Graham Andrews carried out with young people in the ward.

What’s happening/What Facilities are available at the moment in and around Ladywell?
Plenty of open space/green space in ward.
Ladywell Leisure Centre (not being closed anymore!)
Ladywell Centre (Dressington Avenue) – but public access to facilities limited and it may be demolished.
Prendergast School (indoor cricket annex planned)
Gordonbrock Primary School (after-school club)
Ladywell after school club (where?)
St Mary’s Centre has a youth club on Fridays and Tai Kwon Do and they are keen to do more youth work.
Anything happening at St Cyprian’s Church Hall on Brockley Road?
London & Quadrant ran a football programme in Slagrove Place and the police fund-matched some football coach training with one of the housing associations.
Crofton Leisure Centre will re-open to the public in 2008 (when Crofton School’s rebuild is completed). Any chance of a gymnastics club there?
XLP Youth Work Charity with double decker activity bus (but not in Ladywell?).
Crofton Baptist Church has a weekly youth club on Wednesdays for 30 -35 young people. Nearing capacity and hoping to expand soon. JUMP.
Summer university (primary)
Skate Park in Ladywell Fields
Summer Alive (sports on Hilly Fields) was a success – can it be expanded to be all-year?
Youth club at St Andrews (they have plans to expand and make their basement a ‘youth space’ – but need lots of funding to do this!)
Brockley Baptist Church have an after school club 3 days a week for younger children.
Felix School of Rock (New Cross?)

Previously – Ladywell Gymnastics Club, but moved to Bellingham now. Also, Street Vibes – moved to site on TESCO car park. More used to happen at St Mary’s Centre. Ladywell Centre sports hall threatened with demolition.
Sure Start opening next year in Dressington Avenue, but may not have rooms for hire/community use.

What is good about existing facilities?
Street Vibes (music production)
Table tennis and Playstation, Pool, snooker, workshops, café, dance, drama and art (Crofton Baptist Church youth club)

What would you like to see in the area?
Organise trips (eg Quasar), Cinema, More performing arts, More youth clubs, More counselling, An adventure playground, Cheerleading, Computer consoles, Nightclub for under 18s, XLP double decker bus, Trampolines, Go karts, Theme park (!), Gymnastics, Nail salon (?!), Partnerships, Funding for all-weather sports facilities, Joined up provision and winter provision, More variety to include all, including kabbadi, badminton.
Need to bring together buildings, funding, facilities, expertise and staff.
Ladywell Safer Neighbourhood Team – keen to see space alongside Viney Road flats turned into some kind of football pitch for kids there to use.

Proposals to take forward
More consultation with children
A list of activities for children to choose from
Identifying buildings – visit existing buildings to see what is currently going on and what can be developed.
Set up a steering group
Audit of existing provision and facilities and anticipated future need.
Useful contacts, networking, partnerships
Link in with Sure Start?
Some attendees expressed opposition to plans to demolish the Ladywell Centre Sports Hall and wanted to use the green area in Dressington Avenue for activities (Abbey Manor College wanted to put an all-weather basketball pitch there).
Build links with local schools
Can derelict changing rooms on Ladywell Fields (end of Malyons Rd be renovated for some kind of youth space?
Smthg at Old Bothy on Hilly Fields now it has been vacated by Envirowork (too noisy for residents on Shell Rd, and there may be plans for the site already?).

Possible sources of funding:
Youth Opportunities Fund and Youth Capital Fund
Jack Petchey Foundation (match funding youth initiatives)
Lottery money
Youth Services existing budget (!)
Housing associations
Locality Fund (only £10,000 and lots of interest already though!)

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