We have published our first significant piece of work. Supported by Westminster City Council and The Westminster Foundation, we commissioned the needs analysis report, ‘A City within a City’, to understand the experiences of young people, aged 8-25, growing up in Westminster.
The research was designed and undertaken by the young people themselves, with 17 young Westminster residents trained as peer researchers over Summer 2017. Through online forms, focus groups, peer-to-peer interviews and consultation events we were able to engage with young people from across the Borough. To gain a well rounded picture we also undertook research with other key stakeholders, including youth clubs, schools, youth workers, school nurses, youth offending teams and the Integrated Gang Unit.
Despite the increased challenges affecting young people growing up in London, the majority of young people who contributed to the research seemed highly resilient and largely positive about growing up in Westminster. However, there were widely held concerns with we have summarised into four key themes to form the foundation for our initial work plans. These are:
● Crime & Personal Safety
● The Local Environment
● Health & Wellbeing
● Accessing Opportunities
The report and recommendations now provide us with a basis to move forward, a call for action for partners and a business case to seek and focus investment.
Councillor Richard Holloway, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People, said: “We welcome the voices and views of young people included in this report. Having helped to establish the Young Westminster Foundation as a charity dedicated to supporting youth services, the council will continue to work in partnership with them, to help improve the lives of our young residents.
Nourhan Meddah, aged 16, was one of our peer researchers who interviewed young people last summer. She said ‘I felt like we were being listened to this time and I honestly believe that this report and the YWF will make a massive difference to the lives of young people’.
Please have a read, share with your teams and get in touch if you would like to know more.