Schools will soon be out for summer and the council’s youth engagement team will be in the town centre this week promoting the wide range of events and activities young people can get involved in.
The team will be outside McDonald’s, North End, on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 July, from 3-7pm sharing their summer holiday programme for eight to 19-year-olds (up to 24-year-olds for those with learning difficulties).
The programme includes arts and dance projects, boot camps, drama, confidence building workshops, cooking skills, first aid training, healthy-lifestyle choices, boxing and laser tag, football, music projects, gaming tournaments, gardening and barbering.
These champion the goals of the council’s award-winning Choose Your Future campaign, which aims to unite Croydon against serious youth violence and support young people to make positive choices.
The youth team is working with the Safer Croydon Partnership as part of the two-day event which aims to ensure the end of term is a safe time for young people.
The council’s neighbourhood safety officers will work with the police to provide a reassuring presence in the town centre and West Croydon from 3-7pm on both days.
The team will be working alongside the free support and counselling service Croydon Drop In (CDI), who help 11-25-year-olds and their families with advice on a range of issues. This includes family support, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
CDI are among the many organisations supporting the Choose Your Future campaign, which this spring launched a phase encouraging young people to look after their mental health – news.croydon.gov.uk/choose/
Croydon School Pastors will also be in North End. The volunteer pastors team is made up of representatives from local churches who accompany young people to bus and tram stops to help them get safely on their way home.
Turning Point’s outreach team, which helps those working to combat substance misuse, will also be in the town centre to offer advice and guidance.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
“Historically the end of term has led to large crowds of young people gathering in the town centre. We understand that everyone wants to be with their friends, but we want everyone to stay safe on their way home at the end of term and throughout the summer break.
“As a partnership we are seeking to ensure this by taking a preventative approach, signposting young people to alternative activities and to the support available.”
Chief Inspector Craig Knight, of Croydon Police, added: “I want young people to celebrate the end of the school year without fear of crime or disorder. The police will therefore respond robustly to antisocial behaviour by groups or individuals to ensure the safety of the young people themselves and the wider public.”
To find out more see youngcroydon.org.uk