An influential activity programme for young people in Goole has proved so successful that organisers are planning to expand it even further this year.
Sgt Ryan Reed of Goole Community Policing Team recently spoke to Our Goole to explain the ‘fantastic’ team effort behind Goole’s Youth Coalition, and the calming effect this has had on incidents of antisocial behaviour. In November 2014 Phil Jackson of East Riding Youth and Family Support Services, amongst others, identified a need for more activities in the Goole area aimed at young people.
“This was of concern because good youth provision is strongly linked to better outcomes for young people in later life – for example finding employment and keeping away from criminality. It was clear that there was some provision, but in a time of financial austerity delivering any improvements was going to be a difficult thing to achieve. With this in mind a local group was formed called the Youth Coalition. It looked to bring together a number of local partners with a track record of working with young people. Many of these were from already existing stake holders within the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, but many were not. Some of those included the Crime Commissioners Office and Humberside Police, Goole Academy, The Courtyard, Castaways, New Life Church, Groundworks, Goole Community Youth Group and the Sobriety Project. The idea was to see what could be achieved by working together and pooling collective resources and skills.
“Incredibly by the summer of 2015 the group had managed to organise a summer programme of activities for local young people that catered for a variety of tastes. The programme was based on what local young people said they wanted – a diverse range of activities from art to football, judo to music and craft was provided. Over 3,000 young people attended the 7 week programme, with over 6,000 hours of activity enjoyed. The ripple effect of this was that the community of Goole enjoyed a 13% reduction in antisocial behaviour. As far as the coalition is concerned this was just a starting point and plans continue to develop what is on offer. Looking to the future more programmes are being planned for summer 2016 as well as more term time activities. The programmes are inclusive but there will be some work around offering more targeted activities for those who may not readily engage, and may be becoming involved in antisocial related behaviour.”
Championing the huge team effort involved in pulling together the range of positive activities on offer, Coalition Chairman Phil Jackson explained to Our Goole: “The staggering success of last year’s programme saw an average of 73 young people attending these sessions each day, and that’s exactly what we’re striving for. The main aim of the initiative is to see the youth of Goole enjoying the same level of activities available elsewhere. The success of the Goole Youth Coalition is down to all the key partners working together, listening to young people about what diversionary positive activity they want and then delivering a diverse programme of activities. Our aim in 2016 is to expand the summer programme and to offer more activities during the autumn and winter months.”