Com­mu­nity sup­port for youth cam­paign

Fish­ing club and boot camp are among sug­ges­tions

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

There is wide­spread sup­port for in­creased fa­cil­i­ties for young peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang, ini­tial feed­back to a com­mu­nity sur­vey has shown.

The sur­vey is ask­ing res­i­dents what they would like to see in­tro­duced for 12 to 18- yearolds and aims to iden­tify pos­i­tive ways young peo­ple can spend their time in the evenings and week­ends.

Launched by Half­way teen Robyn Feeney, the sur­vey fol­lows a spate of un­der­age drink­ing and anti- so­cial be­hav­iour at Cam­bus­lang Park.

With sev­eral young peo­ple say­ing they have ‘nowhere else’ to meet friends, the sur­vey aims to find out what young peo­ple want in their town be­fore try­ing to re­alise their wishes.

Ex­plain­ing the sur­vey was launched just a few days ago, Robyn, 19, said about 90 per cent of re­spon­ders agreed there is a lack of fa­cil­i­ties.

“There has been over 140 re­sponses so far,” Robyn said. “A few of them are from par­ents who have kids and 13 per cent are from young peo­ple giv­ing their sug­ges­tions.

“One boy sug­gested a fish­ing club and quite a few like the idea of out­door fit­ness, such as boot camp, where they are still with their pals but it is some­thing else for them to do and it’s en­joy­ing the park in a pos­i­tive way.”

She added: “To see how the com­mu­nity has come to­gether is won­der­ful. Ev­ery­one has re­alised that some­thing needs to be done to make things bet­ter for young peo­ple. I’m re­ally happy there is no more ar­gu­ing, it is now a much more pos­i­tive de­bate.”

The sur vey co­in­cides with a pe­ti­tion which Robyn launched last week. It urges South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal com­mu­nity to work to­gether to cre­ate a suit­able out­let for young peo­ple.

Signed by around 350 peo­ple, Robyn says the pe­ti­tion and re­sults of the sur­vey will be passed to the coun­cil, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and com­mu­nity lead­ers later this sum­mer.

Me a n w h i l e U n i v e r s a l Con­nec­tions has launched a pro­gramme of sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties for young peo­ple of sec­ondary school age.

Tony Hutchi­son of the youth project, which has out­lets in both Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen, said staff do all they can to iden­tify and tackle risky be­hav­iour in youths such as un­der­age drink­ing.

He said: “Dur­ing the sum­mer some peo­ple are com­ing in hun­gover from the night be­fore. We talk to them and take them on trips and we get them to en­joy them­selves, to ex­pe­ri­ence nat­u­ral highs and ex­cite­ment.

“We try to show young peo­ple how to have fun without drink.”

But Mr Hutchi­son said un­der­age drink­ing was no big­ger an is­sue in Cam­bus­lang than in any other com­mu­nity across Scot­land.

“There is an is­sue but it’s not a mas­sive is­sue,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was that preva­lent, that every young per­son out there, that they are do­ing it.”

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has also high­lighted a num­ber of ex­ist­ing out­lets for young peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang, in­clud­ing Uni­ver­sal Con­nec­tions, which is open 67 hours per week, and Spring­hall Youth Project, which runs Fri­day night dis­cos for youths.

Other youth projects, op­er­ated by Re­gen:fx Youth Trust, run in com­mu­nity cen­tres in Fern­hill, Burn­hill, West­burn and the Cir­cuit.

Green space Anti-so­cial be­hav­iour in Cam­bus­lang Park has led to calls for more fa­cil­i­ties for lo­cal youths in the town

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