Are we up to the Challenge?
Over the past few weeks, the Community Safety Team have done some work with young people keen to change society. Two young groups from the national Challenge Network visited Warwickshire carried out projects to address local community safety concerns. A couple of weeks ago we brought you details of the project in Kenilworth, today’s post looks at what they did in Rugby.
In Rugby, Team Radcliffe from the Challenge Network were tasked with looking at town centre anti-social behaviour focusing on the area outside McDonalds where large groups typically gather and cause harassment, alarm and distress to local shoppers. This behaviour predominantly takes place on Saturday afternoons and market day. This situation impacts on the town centre trade and public service resources.
In the past enforcement options have led to some successes; however this is not a long term solution to the situation. A change of perceptions from the young people is needed, but this must be led by the young people. The Team Radcliffe Challenge Network youngster have helped Rugby First, Rugby town centre Safer Neighbourhood Teams from Warwickshire Police and WCC’s Community Safety Project Officer to develop a proposal to make a long term difference.
On the 11 September we met as a group to discuss ideas. Over the day we talked about the situation and looked at a wide range of different approaches. The young people worked hard to get to this point using the problem solving skills that they had been taught on a previous session. The group of young people were asked to look at the data gathered on this behaviour and drew up a community questionnaire with 10 questions which they posed to people passing by the area in the town centre. The results were collated and presented back to the group.
By linking in with young people in this way, we have brought fresh ideas to our team. The process has been challenging for us as much as it has for the young people, making us work in different ways. We have enjoyed the process and the time with the young people in Rugby, but we now need to turn their ideas in to reality. We hope to bring you more details as the ideas progress.
The Challenge Network brings young people together from diverse backgrounds and throws them in at the deep end. They take on physical, social and civic challenges that prepare them to design and deliver projects that will make a difference in their community. Along the way they learn skills such as team work, leadership and communication, and are engouraged to develop trust in others, responsibility for themselves, understanding and empathy. You can read all about the network here (http://www.the-challenge.org/about/)