Town councillors have unanimously approved £10,000 for free activities for young people – set to include free canoeing, free tennis, youth outreach provision and a Youth Bus. Warminster Area Board have backed the move with a £5,000 grant, taking total funding to £15,000.
The town council have been working with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police to look for ways to support the youth of Warminster. All hope that this multi-faceted approach will help the youth of Warminster by providing positive activities and a diversion from antisocial behaviour.
Cllr Stacie Allensby said:
It’s fantastic news that Warminster Town Council is investing in multiple activities that will cover a range of ages in Warminster and beyond. I’m delighted we are engaging more with the youth of Warminster. Canoeing and tennis will cover a wide age range, the Youth Bus is expected to appeal to the younger age group (11-15), then outreach workers for the 14-18 age group as a start for building relationships, trusted adults and finding out what the young people themselves would like to do.”
Working with the partner organisations, several avenues have been identified where provision can be provided by the investment. Exact details have yet to be finalised but it is expected that the following will be provided:
Canoeing on the lake
Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Team will run free canoe sessions on the lake which will give young people an opportunity to try an activity they may not otherwise have access to. These sessions would will be run during the school holidays with two sessions being run per day. Sessions will be for up to 20 young people.
Free tennis coaching
As part of the agreement for the funding for the tennis court refurbishment, the council are required to provide free tennis sessions. Free court time and tennis coaching sessions will be on offer to young people, giving them an opportunity to try something new and perhaps lead to them taking up the sport. Initially, 100 hours of free coaching and court time would be available.
Open Blue based in Calne run the Blue Bus. It is a double decker bus which offers a safe environment for youths aged between 10 and 17 years old to spend their evenings. A two-hour slot provides hot chocolate and activities which include games, icebreakers, PS3, PS5, Xbox, Chill out and Chat, table football, skittles. Blue Bus have said that they expect they would be available for one night a week. They are happy to go to different locations in Warminster i.e. not just the centre of town.
These specially trained individuals will engage with the youths around the town assisting them to access any resources they need, building relationships with them and hopefully channelling their energy into positive pursuits. 4Youth who are based in Melksham are revising their current programme and would have availability to work in Warminster. Another potential provider has been identified who is working with the Wiltshire Football Association but also does mentoring for those excluded or in/very close to the youth justice system, who may provide some higher level 1:1 support if needed.
The projects can be modified and adapted during that period and tailored to meet need and demand. It is planned that the scheme would need to run for at least 3 years.
Last modified: 1 February 2024