Pukaar News – Leicester

Youth Workers Take to The Streets of Leicester

A number of village pods took over Humberstone Gate in Leicester to celebrate National Youth Week.

The bustling road show, which took place on Saturday 5th November, was organised by voluntary youth work organisation StreetVibe and ER Dance in association with Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

Activities on the day included live musical and dance entertainment, arts and crafts, a basketball and football pod, a graffiti art workshop, a computer games tent, hair braiding and face painting and an inflatable laser tag game.

 

Youth pod village coordinator James Clacey, who works with Street Vibes Young Peoples Service, said: “Events like this are about lots of different things from breaking down barriers, to getting ways for young people to interact and get their opinions across.”

 

StreetVibe work with 11 to 25 year olds and have two fully converted vehicles, which they take around as youth hubs. These vehicles travel across Leicestershire and up to Northampton to work with all sorts of young people.

 

The free event, which ran from 12pm to 5pm in the city centre, was open for all young people between the ages of 13 to 19.

 

ER Dance works with young people all over Leicestershire and has trained many of their young volunteers to be coaches, who are now getting paid to help others in the community.

 

Mandy Shepherd started the group over 13 years ago as a dance club, but has now changed it to a dance and fitness group. She said: “I wanted to take it forward and thought about how we can get new people involved – so we came up with the village pod initiative and worked closely with Streetvibe to make the project happen.”

 

Brian Quinn, Service Manager for StreetVibe’s Young People’s Services, said: “There were riots and disturbances across the country but in Leicestershire more young people are engaging in positive activities rather than disturbances. This event is to demonstrate that young people do get involved with positive things.”

 

Over 200 new people are thought to have registered their interest at the city centre, while more continued to sign up throughout the day.

 

Leicester assistant city mayor with responsibility for children, young people and schools, Cllr Vi Dempster, said: “The city council’s youth services are responsible for a huge range of activities and work with young people, and this event is a great chance to showcase that hard work and give people the chance to find out what’s on offer in the city.”

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