Youth provision launched to target specific need in Manchester

published on 2 Mar 2018

 

(From left to right) Mike Edwards, Lieutenant Kay Blues, Anees Gill and Sharon Thomas

An innovative new free provision which aims to decrease anti-social behaviour and increase social interactions for young people aged between 8 and 15 was launched by The Salvation Army and local housing provider S4B on Monday 19th February 2018.

The provision, the Brunswick and Ardwick, Youth Provision (BAYP), has been designed after a survey of the local area revealed there is currently very little on offer after school for this age group. The partnership which includes local sports youth worker, Mike Edwards from Young Community Champions, who already works with youth from area, has a clear vision. This is to offer opportunities for children and young people in the area to grow so they can give back to the community. The Salvation Army, S4B along with their partners will work together to create pathways for education, employment and social activities.

Lieutenant, Kay Blues, church leader at The Salvation Army’s Manchester Central Corps where the provision will run, said: “We are extremely excited to be launching our new youth provision along with S4B because we strongly believe it has the potential to make a real, tangible difference to young people, and their families in the Brunswick area. It’s a real partnership as we are working with a number of local agencies to create BAYP, including the Manchester City Council and local police.

“It is the first time in recent years that a provision like this has been run specifically for this age group and we hope it shows them that they are valued, and that we believe they have potential and want to help them to realise that, whatever it may be. By giving them somewhere to go one evening a week, we hope, this will decrease boredom which could lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour, therefore lessening tension between young people and other members of the community.”

The partnership is aware that its vision is bold and believes it can be achieved by making those who engage with the provision aware of their surroundings, and one way of doing this is through sport. This will be delivered by Mike Edwards. 

Sharon Thomas, community development officer at S4B, said: “This is a great example of partnership working to provide activities for young people in the Brunswick area – we had a brilliant turnout from the community on the day.

“We also want to expand to include learning opportunities for parents, to make the most of the fantastic facilities The Salvation Army offers.”

In addition, opening up what the local community has to offer the young people is something the provision sees as important. For example, Manchester University is located nearby and highlighting that there are opportunities available for the young people in the future in education whether that be through vocational courses, apprenticeships or traditional courses will be explored. 

BAYP will act as a feeder as well as a volunteering opportunity for an existing youth provision which is run at Brunswick Parish Church and for young people aged 14 to 19.

The provision will run every Monday between 4:30pm and 6:30pm at The Salvation Army’s Manchester Central Corps on Grosvenor Street.