Activities for Teenagers

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At a play with my daughter

One of the most pressing issues in our towns today is the significant lack of facilities and activities specifically tailored for teenagers. While sports are a fantastic outlet for many young people, not all teens are interested in sports, and even those who are still need other options to balance their social and recreational lives.

Our teenagers are in a pivotal stage of life where they explore their identities, build social skills, and learn to navigate the world independently. However, the limited options for safe, engaging activities outside of sports can leave many feeling isolated and undervalued. This lack of alternatives can lead to teenagers spending more time in less productive or unsupervised environments, which is not ideal for their development or well-being.

What our towns need are facilities that cater to a broader range of interests and provide environments where teenagers feel welcomed and valued. These spaces should not only entertain but also engage them intellectually, creatively, and socially.

1. Youth Centres: We need better support for our youth centres that are more than just places to hang out, but hubs of activity where teenagers can engage in various workshops, from technology and arts to music and drama. These centres could also host events and educational seminars that cater specifically to teen interests and developmental needs.

2. Creative and Art Spaces: Dedicated areas where teens can explore their creative sides through art classes, exhibitions, and DIY projects. Such spaces encourage expression and can be pivotal in developing young people’s self-esteem and emotional intelligence.

3. Tech & Trades: With the increasing importance of digital skills, providing access to technology labs equipped with computers, software, and perhaps even a recording studio could inspire future careers in STEM fields. Workshops on coding, app development, or graphic design could be incredibly beneficial. Equally important, as a counter to academia, is tradesman ship skills. Having an opportunity to experience this can open up the natural potential of young people not as academic.

4. Outdoor and Adventure Activities: Not all recreation needs to be sports-centric. Adventure parks, orienteering, or even nature trails designed for teens can provide physical activity and excitement in a more relaxed setting than competitive sports.

5. Safe Night-Time Activities: Offering evening events in safe, supervised environments can provide alternatives to unsupervised night-time activities such as Movie nights or live music events.

To make these initiatives successful, they must be developed with input from the teenagers themselves. Surveys, focus groups, and town meetings where teens can express their needs and interests will ensure that the facilities and activities we develop are truly reflective of their desires.

Investing in diverse facilities and activities for our teens not only benefits them directly but enhances the entire community by fostering a new generation that feels connected, supported, and valued. As your council candidate, I am committed to advocating for and implementing these changes, ensuring that our towns are nurturing spaces for all residents, including our young people. Let’s work together to create a community where every teenager has the opportunity to thrive and excel.