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  • Waterside’s 2nd Birthday!

    Today, we are celebrating the second anniversary of Waterside Centre reopening.

    3 August 2023

  • Duck Race

    Our friends at the Rotary Club of Reading Abbey have asked us to share news of the charity fundraising event they’re running at The Oracle on Saturday 9 September.

    31 July 2023

  • Tilehurst Youth Club

    Thank you to youth worker Jessica for this update!

    31 July 2023

  • Waterside – July 2023

    Kelly told us: “The summer months bring a range of activity to Waterside Centre.

    31 July 2023

  • The Wayz – July 2023

    A real summer of fun at The Ways; the month started brilliantly with the Community Fun Day and Bracknell Together Walk.

    31 July 2023

  • Britwell – July 2023

    Britwell Youth and Community Project’s Summer Holiday Club is running from Monday 24 July– Friday 18 August (daily Monday – Friday), 11am – 3pm.

    31 July 2023

  • Updates from our Flagship Youth Clubs

    Please click on the links below for the latest updates from our flagship youth clubs in Slough, Bracknell and Newbury.

    31 July 2023

  • Youth Development and Community Engagement Update

    The school holidays are now upon us and our summer programmes are in full swing.

    31 July 2023

  • Training News

    Here are our upcoming training courses, including posters.

    31 July 2023

  • Staff Spotlight

    In the last update, we caught up with Abbas, who was celebrating his first year of working at Berkshire Youth.

    31 July 2023

David’s Blog – An Interview with Goodera

1 September 2022

David recently caught up with Goodera. Here’s what he told them:

How do you empower young people through your organisation, Berkshire Youth?
Our charity was founded just after the second world war, and we have been in operation since then. We first started with the purpose of supporting those young individuals who felt excluded from their communities. We wanted to provide a safe space for those young people to meet role models they could admire and be inspired by. Over the years, we have been able to accomplish this.

At present, we have several youth hubs across the county. Some of these centres, like the ones in Bracknell and Slough, have been there since the 1950s. These centres have youth workers who provide guidance and assistance to youth at risk of falling out of school. Through these centres, we try to provide safe spaces to young people where they can hang out after school. Furthermore, we have a network of small voluntary youth organisations that meet in various villages, sports clubs, and open spaces to discuss how to engage young people meaningfully.

To empower youth, we need to provide them with opportunities. Our volunteer network and facilities are helping us engage them on the streets in order to let them know that we’re here to help, steer them in the right direction and give them some real opportunities to engage.

In your opinion, what is having a negative impact on the youth of today?
Over the past few years, there has been increased pressure to excel academically. Today’s youth are spending most of their time catching up on school work, which leaves little time for other activities. The concept of free time is often discouraged these days as well. Whenever the youth have free time, they are always compelled to fill it with activities. There is a potentially harmful effect on them from this.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the development of young people?
Schools play an essential role when it comes to the transition that happens in young people. They invest a lot of time and effort into shaping a young person’s future. But due to Covid, this has been missing. Being locked away in their homes for around two years had a negative impact on their overall development.

Also, we must remember that not all households are the same. Some provide a safe space while some don’t. The young people who are fortunate enough to have a loving family indeed have made some positive progress. However, those who live in abusive families have had to endure some challenging times. They were forced to live in volatile houses for two years, which wasn’t pleasant.

It’s a pity that Covid has brought so many problems, but young people must find solutions. However, they cannot do it alone. There is an urgent need for help and support for them right now.

Do you feel the youth of today can lead the world towards a better future?
I feel young people today are very much aware of their duties towards society. As a result of their familiarity with the internet, they can stay updated on world affairs such as politics and the daily news. Their potential is more tremendous than we realise. The problem is that they don’t necessarily agree with how things are done today. And that abstinence is often translated as lethargy from their side.

We can enable them to accomplish great things if we give them the right resources and support. Adults tend to be more concerned about the here and now; young people, on the other hand, tend to be more community-oriented. We can see people from the 18 – 25 age bracket raising their voices and working towards some great causes. Obviously, there are some exceptions walking in the opposite direction, but they only learn from their elders. So first, we must change ourselves and be better role models for young people.

What can we collectively do as a society to empower the younger generation?
If we look at the Scandinavian countries, which according to the UN have the highest happiness scores in the world, the young people there have much less time in school. But compared to other countries, their performance and overall happiness are much higher. And happy youth are less likely to fall prey to destructive behaviours like taking drugs. So as a society, we need to provide spaces for happiness.

Also, we need more youth champions with a strong voice to influence change. We need more people to volunteer and become mentors and role models for young people. Older adults who have some time to spare are perfect for these roles. So let’s all get on the bandwagon of supporting young people a bit more and get behind them!


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