I recently visited the Wey Centre in Haslemere where I met a group of young people following concerns about the lack of facilities they have available to them.
I listened to Sharon Mitchell and a group of young people who have formed a charity, ‘Stars in the Helping’. It was set up last year to provide help for children in Kenya. They have been sending children clothes and have also paid for food to be provided in Kenya. They visited villages in the area last August, working in orphanages. As a result they are going to help rebuild a school next year.
Sharon said “It was great for Mike to come and see the efforts of some of the local children in Haslemere. It is important that we increase the profile of the charity so that we can increase our membership, helping young people get motivated”.
I have a lot of experience in working with young people having been employed by the YMCA for over twenty years, currently as a Chief Executive Officer. I have worked with hundreds of disadvantaged young people including those with drug and alcohol problems, homeless young people and pupils at risk of exclusion from school.
I have become increasingly concerned with the inadequate facilities that there are for young people. Young people are sometimes targets for criticism. The lack of appropriate facilities for them can lead to problems with members of the public in open space areas.
The Wey Centre is a much needed facility that deserves sustainable funding and quality youth work provision by Surrey County Council. I was very inspired to hear about the young people who are involved in Stars in the Helping and the impact they are having on the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.