Following on from the successful Year of Community in 2018, 2019 has been designated as Broxbourne’s Year of Young People where the Borough recognises the value and important role that young people play in the Borough of Broxbourne. The first two months have seen a number of significant developments within the Year of Young People programme.
274 nominations were received across 12 categories for the fifth annual Broxbourne Youth Awards. A wide range of candidates were nominated and the judging panel found shortlisting to be challenging. Shortlisted candidates have been invited to the Youth Awards ceremony to be held on Friday 29 March at The Spotlight. The Youth Awards are kindly sponsored by Aldwyck Housing Group, CEG, Cheshunt FC, Inland Homes, Tesco and County Councillor, Dave Hewitt.
The Broxbourne Youth Council continues to meet fortnightly with an average attendance of 14 young people, up from nine during the previous term. So far in 2019, the Youth Council trained to become Democracy Ambassadors, started a campaign to improve local bus services and set up their own Feeling Good Week project. Guest speakers have included the Herts Local Enterprise Partnership and the OLLIE Foundation, who provide suicide intervention training for adults working with young people. The Youth Mayor has chosen the OLLIE Foundation as one of his charities to support this year.
On Monday 14 January, Broxbourne Borough Council launched its annual ‘Opportunity for Excellence’ award scheme which aims to support eight talented young athletes (aged 11-30), in achieving their full potential through a free Leisure Centre membership.
283 children attended the Kidz Klub play scheme held over the February half-term at the John Warner Sports Centre. Activities included a roller disco, swimming, trampolining, arts and crafts, assault course, badminton, hockey, dodgeball and nerf wars.
During the February half-term a programme of activities for young people included arts and crafts, detached youth work and sport, creative writing workshops and an open mic evening. There were 60 youth attendances at the Young Voices creative events run in partnership with Grow Cheshunt in Flamstead End whilst detached youth work sessions and the mobile youth engagement vehicle attracted 44 attendances.
Broxbourne Borough Council and the Herts Sports Partnership are encouraging local primary schools to sign up to the Daily MileTM, an initiative that encourages primary schools and nurseries to take children outside running for 15 minutes each day. Over the next 18 months, the partnership is looking to raise the profile of the initiative to combat the levels of childhood obesity and inactivity in the borough. A third of schools (8) are already signed up across the Borough. Links are being made with the Junior Parkrun at Cheshunt Park.
In February, 1,322 pupils from five of Broxbourne’s secondary schools watched the ‘Breaking the Chain’ performance produced by the AlterEgo drama company. ‘Breaking the Chain’ is a hard-hitting applied theatre production that aims to raise awareness and kick-start conversations and build resilience around youth violence, with a focus on knife crime. The performances were funded by the Hertfordshire Child Safeguarding Board and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
Youth Intervention Programme awareness days took place at the John Warner School and the Robert Barclay Academy at the end of January. The days were aimed to raise awareness amongst students on how to minimise the risk of them becoming victims of youth violence and substance misuse. Activities include knife arches, sniffer dogs, bike marking and presentations from youth workers from the St Giles Trust.
With the Borough hosting the Canoe Slalom World Cup in June 2019 at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, local schools were invited to benefit from discounted tickets to attend this international competition. 14 schools have taken advantage of these £1 tickets with 1,131 pupils due to attend.
The weekly youth programme has continued to deliver activities in Hoddesdon Town Centre, Grundy Park, the John Warner Sport Centre, Boundary Park (Hoddesdon) and the Safer Places refuge with 394 youth attendances. There are currently three older young people who volunteer at these sessions each week.