Sunday, February 18, 2007

Youth Provision Update

We had a very constructive follow-up meeting a couple of weeks ago to the ward forum on youth provision. Ladywell has been identified, along with Catford South, as an area with a shortage of youth provision, and a small amount of funding has been identified in this year’s budget to be spent on increasing existing youth provision. Proposals are currently being submitted and we will have a further meeting with youth services and extended learning in March to decide how to spend that money (which has to be allocated before the end of the financial year). It is likely to go on increasing existing provision, ie either more football on Hilly Fields/Crofton Baptist Church Youth Club/St Andrew’s Youth Club/something at St Mary’s Centre. Once this is in place, the steering group will look at a longer-term plan for youth provision in the area. The keyword is that it has to be “sustainable”. Sustainable in this context, I’ve learnt, means self-financing, ie there will be a charge, but it should also be inclusive, so those on low incomes should not be excluded.

I’m also hopeful, after discussions with the Waterlink Way Rangers that a monthly Wildlife Watch Club for younger children will be set up soon in Ladywell Fields, to tie in with the plans for the park, and potentially also exploring the local wildlife in Hilly Fields and Brockley Cemetery. Enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in helping with this (and are either CRB checked or willing to be CRB checked) are wanted to help make this happen. Please let me know if you are interested.

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