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Bishop Martin launches a major report looking at young people’s perceptions of provision and opportunities in Suffolk.

Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Bishop Martin launches a major report looking at young people’s perceptions of provision and opportunities in Suffolk.

Bishop Martin has today (3 July 2019) launched a major report looking at young people’s perceptions of provision and opportunities in Suffolk.

The University of Suffolk were commissioned to compile the report by the Bishop and a consortium of sponsors. It provides in-depth qualitative research investigating the views of young people in Suffolk about their opinions of their communities and the challenges they face

The consortium consisting of the Diocese, the Suffolk Community Foundation and the Ipswich Opportunity Area funded the research in an attempt to ensure that young people felt they had a voice in identifying issues and helping to inform possible solutions.

Bishop Martin said, “It is vital young people living in Suffolk with some of the problems that have been widely publicised have a platform to be heard about, both on the issues and the solutions.  This report by the University of Suffolk will make a significant contribution to our understanding of their lives and views.  What is clear is that they do have clear opinions and perhaps surprisingly, a very common and coherent set of views wherever they are in the county. It is also very clear that the needs they have are ones that we as county should be able to address. In terms of next steps, it is my role to challenge those with influential voices in Suffolk to work together and respond quickly and meaningfully.  We will also be looking at some new funding streams to help.”

The Suffolk Community Foundation and the Police and Crime Commissioner attended the launch and announced details of new funding opportunities to address some of the issues raised.

Katie Tyrrell, Research Associate at the University, the author of the report said “Young people are often consulted in a tokenistic way, this research was a way to actively engage with young people meaningfully, with their voice at the centre.  They were pleased to be asked, to give their views and responded enthusiastically.  There are clear messages in the report and it is vital that young people continue to contribute to the identification of issues and the development of solutions.”

Young people, aged 11-18, volunteered to participate in focus group discussions with creative mapping activities across Ipswich, Claydon, Leiston, Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Haverhill.

The research identified the need for:

  • Safe social spaces across the county
  • Adequate transport and better information in order to access existing provision
  • A greater understanding of young people’s needs across the wider community
  • Involving young people in identifying the issues they face and informing the solutions.

Katie said “Young people told us there were frustrated with the lack of things to do within their local communities, this was especially so for those in rural communities, where there was a difficulty in accessing provision. There was also a view that there is a barrier in gaining work experience and employment opportunities.  The fear of crime, violence and gang activity was clear in negatively influencing young people’s movements. Many described feelings of disconnect and social exclusion and the groups expressed a desire to have a safe, indoor social space to not only spend time with friends but also to seek support from a variety of services.”

Bishop Martin said “There are three main headlines: Safe social spaces; a means of knowing about them; and accessible, affordable transport helping youngsters get there and back.  These seem to be achievable goals, if we worked together.  To get the ball rolling, I along with our youth officer, Matt Levett, and the Diocese are committed to listen to what young people are saying, and to respond in partnership with others by providing additional safe spaces and supportive programmes for young people, particularly in parts of the county where there is little provision at the moment”.

In response to the report, the Suffolk Community Foundation and the Police and Crime Commissioner announced details of a new £150,000 funding opportunity to address some of the issues raised - see below.In response to the report, the Suffolk Community Foundation and the Police and Crime Commissioner announced details of a new £150,000 funding opportunity to address some of the issues raised - see below.

The Summary Report can be downloaded from www.uos.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Youth-Intervention-Full-Report_1.pdf

The Executive Summary can be found at www.uos.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Youth-Intervention-Summary_1.pdf

Picture caption: Bishop Martin centre, with from left, Darren Oxbrow from Volunteering Matters, Richard Lister from Ipswich Opportunities Area, Tim Passmore Police and Crime Commissioner, Katie Tyrrell from University of Suffolk and Stephen Singleton CEO of Suffolk Community Foundation.

 

Youth Intervention Fund

 

 

Grants of between £2,500 and £20,000 are available for organisations delivering services to support young people:

  • to achieve their potential
  • to improve their skills base, especially when employment opportunities are being maximised
  • by offering support and signposting to increase life chances
  • to provide preventative services that educate young people i.e. around drugs and alcohol
  • to improve their mental wellbeing

that help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour

An application that has been put together with young people will take priority if this fund is oversubscribed.  Please read the full criteria and information on how to apply here.

Closing on 28 August 2019 with outcomes expected at the end of October.