i youth zone
Greenock, Inverclyde Council
Greenock's i youth zone provides a safe place for young poeple to participate in pro-social activities, gain access to advice and information and get support from youth workers to deal with the impact of poverty, education, work and relationships.
The engagment process uses an approach called 'detached youth work'. Instead of waiting for young people to turn up at our premises workers proactively walk the streets, talking to groups of young people that are often disengaged from mainstream life. This is backed up with mapping activities and keeping a contact diary. The work is designed to counteract consistent reports in research which highlights that groups regularly hanging around in urban areas is a common predictor of delinquent and antisocial behaviour.
Detached youth work is therefore a high intensity form of youth work, that can only be undertaken by workers with sufficient levels of training and experience. It is nevertheless one of the most effective ways of reaching young people that are least likely to find their own way into regular after school programmes. After forming relationships with particular groups and individuals, street workers seek to move young people off the street by taking them to the i youth zone where they can try out a wide range of activites and access one to one support to deal with the multiple issues that hold them back from achieving their full potential.
Following consultation with 500 young people in Gourock and Port Glasgow plans are now underway to implement the successful i youth zone model in both areas.