Youth engagement in Yate

young people 2

Author: Hayley Townsend, town clerk, Yate Town Council 

Several months ago, Yate Town Council were contacted by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) to ask if we would be interested in hosting a study tour to share best practice and exchange ideas and experiences with clerks and councillors from across the country, all around the theme of youth engagement.  

We were in!

And as I write this blog, at the back end of the week following the study tour, it’s an experience where Yate Town Council got as much from it as the delegates who visited us.

The study tour consisted of informal chats across the lunch buffets, as well as information exchanges during the more formal presentations, where council staff and partners relayed experiences of working together to get the most for the young people of our town.  

Perhaps the most visual and on-the-ground experience came via the walking and bus tour route of Yate’s youth facilities, where we visited:

  • The armadillo youth café, cinema and venue.
  • The award winning Kingsgate park, with 2024 refurbished play area and MUGA, lake, conservation area, water feature and outside gym space.
  • Abbotswood open space area and St Nix community building - a site which Yate Town Council has improved and for which we have aspirations to enhance further.
  • Peg hill skateboard and BMX park.
  • Yate outdoor sports complex, complete with nationally accredited 8-lane running track, athletic facilities, target sprint shooting facility, all-weather pitch, multi-purpose activity building and social clubhouse area.

We also spent time showing the visitors our detached youth work bus – the URBIE (urban/rural bus for information and education) - which delivers detached youth work sessions to Yate’s young people where they are and want to be. The URBIE sparked interest in the delegates, because it doesn’t come with the large overhead costs that a typical venue would, despite being kitted out with a playstation, TV, music decks, sports equipment, Wi-Fi, as well as having an awning space for outside BBQs.

The delegates all brought their own experiences to the study tour and it was both energising and inspiring to speak to colleagues from within our sector who showed such a passion for young people and the shared desire to give young people opportunities within their own communities. It was equally a wonderful opportunity for Yate Town Council to appreciate our own sites and facilities through the eyes of the delegates and to showcase and celebrate our work focusing on young people.  We are perhaps guilty of that fact that we don’t always take the time to pause and think ‘what have we done well?’ And the study tour gave the council a moment to do just that, and to learn from our delegates too.  I would encourage anyone out there to volunteer to take part in a study tour – either as a hosting local (parish or town) council or as a visiting attendee, you won’t regret it!

The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.

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