A group of local youngsters showcased their film last Thursday about their desire for a youth shelter to an audience of residents from the Westshore area.
During the last 18 months, the Community Learning and Development team have been engaging with the youngsters through detached youth work, going out onto the streets where groups of youths congregate, meeting with them and speaking to them.
Throughout this period of time a purpose built Youth Shelter has been identified as a possible solution to groups of teenagers congregating in various areas throughout the town.
“In consultation with the Police and other Partners, we learned that the young people were interested in getting a youth shelter built so they had a place to hang out, not bother anyone, have a bit of ownership over instilling responsibility, a place they could call their own,” explained Mathew Noble, Community Learning and Development Worker.
Residents who attended the meeting were invited to ask questions and make comments following the film screening. Comments included concerns regarding the preferred site, currently situated at Westshore beside the old skip site, the type of shelter chosen, the risk that those involved in anti-social behaviour and drinking in public at Broadsea would relocate and take over the shelter.
Commenting following the film screening, community councillor Johnny Lovegrove said: “The youths do need somewhere to meet up, but I have concerns that other people would take over the shelter when unoccupied and anti social behaviour that is being experienced elsewhere within the town will simply move to the youth shelter.
“The community council receive reports and feedback from the police about anti social behaviour in the town on a regular basis and contributes to finding solutions to this with the Community Safety Group.”