Monday, 11 May 2009

Creating Safer Communities for All           Spring 2009 

Our Aim is for Leighton Buzzard to be a place where:
there is a sense of community that allows everyone to feel safe
young people feel recognised, valued, respected and catered for
adults feel respected by young people

The new youth club at Pages Park opened on 28th January. It is in the pavilion on Wednesdays from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Huge thanks to parents Toni Smith and Julie Wilks and teachers Phil Chaffey and Kieran Dell for making this happen, and to the police and councillors for helping with the funding. As the nights get lighter and the children can use the courts behind the pavilion for games we could do with some more volunteers, so if you would like to help out on an occasional or regular basis contact Toni on 07908-173073.
We now have a template for setting up a club, so if you would like to see a youth club in your neighbourhood we’d be pleased to tell you how it’s done!

Bedfordshire Youth Service has refurbished the youth centre on Vandyke Road. The youth club at Leighton Buzzard Youth Centre is for Year 8 and above on Thursday evenings from 7.00 – 10.00 pm.
The centre also offers sessions in Manga art (Japanese cartoons), dodge ball and street dance, and provides meeting space for young parents, Connexions, the Autism Bedfordshire youth club and the Youth Cabinet. More activities are planned for later in the year.

It’s good to have examples of how the safer community philosophy works - here’s a story from one of our members:
“My father-in-law worked for Wimpey up at the Pages Priory development. There was a group of young lads who were knocking about the site, causing a few minor problems. Instead of confronting them and being negative, he spoke with them and realised they just had nothing to do and were bored. He managed to liaise with the management at Wimpey and negotiated a small fund to pay for a football goal. As a result the boys were as good as gold and didn’t cause any more trouble.”

Over 200 people have attended talks for parents put on by the extended schools service. These have been about boys, teenagers and raising confident children (see next page for future dates). It’s been lovely to have grandparents in the audience, as their experience can bring a different perspective to bringing up children. In fact the older generation is vital to the project of creating a safer community for everyone in our town. Not only do older people have the wisdom and experience that only comes with age, but they are also likely to spend more time in the community and live at a slower, saner pace. This means they have time to get to know the youngsters on their street, pass the time of day with them as they grow up, pass on knowledge and skills, and give them a sense of community. When children feel they are part of a community and are treated as though they matter, they develop a sense of loyalty and responsibility to that community that benefits us all.


Confident Children with Lucinda Neall on helping children develop into caring, capable and confident people will be held at the following schools starting at 7.00 pm:

Wednesday, 20th May at Leighton Middle School
Wednesday, 3rd June at Heathwood Lower School
Wednesday, 17th June at Brooklands Middle School
Monday, 29th June at Stanbridge Lower School

GoCycle are putting on a series of Bikeability sessions: 01525 635 111

Contact:    Lucinda Neall     01525-220846