Are there enough youth centres and projects in our area?
By Katie Willis
We are the most digitally-connected generation there has ever been. But this can be isolating, fuelling the need for social interaction in the real world, with people outside our digital 'bubbles'.
With the rising challenges of youth mental illness, society needs to support and involve teenagers to grow in our communities more than ever. There is a brilliant range of activities in our area from sports clubs to church groups and traditional youth organisations. Hundreds of young people are actively learning skills and gaining from adult role models. However, many activities are only available if you can afford them or can get transport to them.
We need to invest in projects that involve young people across the whole community. Social action in the community reinforces a town's cohesion as well as improving mental and physical health. There shouldn't be barriers to joining in for anyone and we should all be able to belong to a group where we feel comfortable and enjoy activity. The key to making youth policy a success is targeted local involvement in decisions over planning and provision to encourage active participation for all.
I am a member of the Sevenoaks Youth Council. We meet six times a year to discuss youth services and other community issues, and oversee the House in the Basement youth club. Liberal Democrats aim to invest in youth projects and are committed to making them relevant, engaging and accessible. Get in contact to share your ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org) and together we can make this town stronger.
Many young people care passionately about their communities - the climate change protests have shown this. With the right youth services we can create a generation of empowered citizens.
Katie Willis - Sevenoaks Youth Councillor