Rochdale - Rochdale Youth Service
Project name: Rochdale Youth Service
Project Duration: August 2008 - December 2012
Amount Awarded: £211,037.50
The mobile youth bus is an excellent resource to use when there is very little or no youth provision for young people particularly in the Middleton area. The mobile youth bus has been successful in engaging those young people deemed hard to reach and encouraging young people to who may have chosen to be involved in alternative negative activities. The young people respect the facility and have built good relationships with the staff team.
The duration of the sessions are normally three hours; two hours and thirty minutes contact with young people and fifteen minutes on either side of the session to plan and evaluate. If numbers are low an alternative site is identified and after the site has been risk assessed will re locate to ensure maximum reach.
The bus has been used in a variety of settings, for example, outside key areas to attract and create positive diversionary activities for young people. The bus is being located at schools during lunchtimes and after school to help establish and build positive relationships with young people. The bus helps in complimenting fun days, day time provision during school holidays and includes twilight sessions and evening sessions.
Some site locations have needed to be revised due to low numbers of young people or due to the volume of cars parked in the evening, and the road layout can make manoeuvring the bus a hazard. Whilst finding suitable locations to site the bus, consideration is given to ensure that the bus is not parked directly outside residential properties so as not to cause a nuisance and not parked on main roads because of the danger of young people getting on and off and crossing the road.
We are continuously researching new areas to take the bus to through consultation with young people, key partners and stakeholders with the intention of increasing engagement of young people within Middleton. Particularly to areas where there is a lack of local provision available to the young people in that community.
The bus has been used by Middleton Technology School during school holidays and also as part of the extended school programme. The bus has targeted the area around the school and has been used to engage young people who have previously not had contact with the service as well as providing holiday activities for those known to the youth work staff team. The youth service detached team have used the bus on numerous occasions including early afternoons and twilight sessions in areas with high numbers of young people not engaged in education, employment or training (NEET) including sessions in Langley, Middleton Centre and Boarshaw. Young people have engaged in the resources to do job search and apply for jobs, complete CVs and look for apprenticeships.
The bus has up to date games consoles and computers which are popular with the young people. Opportunities are created for young people to take part in meaningful discussions about issues identified and raised with the youth workers. There have been a number of sessions delivered in partnership with the Primary Care Trust (PCT) who have provided a Sexual Health Worker to work alongside the youth work staff team. Sessions with Early Break have been delivered in order to raise young people’s awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The bus has also been a great opportunity for young people to find out what other provision is on offer and to enrol in the school holiday activity programmes.
On the bus there are comments sheets for young people to complete, here are a few examples of their comments:
•“I think it’s really good fun, better than being bored!”
•“So much fun with your friends, maybe it could come every week!”
•“I think this is a really good thing for the kids to do, I think it will help make the kids stop messing about, maybe get some colouring sheets, needs to be here every week!”
•“I think that it is great because you can just chill out and play good games”
•“This bus is the best thing on Langley because we all have a chance to go on the internet and the x boxes, and its free”
This project has met the following national Fair Share Trust priorities:
Community Capacity & Sustainability
The Youth Service will continue to look for additional funds in order to sustain the mobile bus provision. The mobile bus facility has enabled young people to access facilities and resources where there is little or no youth provision. It has also helped to build relationships within the community. It has enabled access to the internet and has helped raise awareness of other facilities that are available such as libraries and community centres.
One full time post has been created. The bus has been used as a venue where trainee youth workers can deliver youth work with the support of a full time qualified member of staff.
Through projects such as Healthy Living Initiative, Drug and Alcohol Awareness sessions, Sexual Health Awareness, Aids Awareness and access to educational resources have all helped to increase young people’s knowledge and understanding. This has empowered young people to go on and make informed life choices and support their mental and emotional wellbeing.
The mobile bus helps the youth work profession develop the skills that can be applied to young people and build on young people’s resilience and determination to become active citizens in their communities.Back to top