Youth Commission shows there is lots to do in school holidays
‘BUT there’s nothing to do in Guernsey’ can no longer be the eternal cry of all young people faced with a long summer break from school.
The Youth Commission held a summer family fun day over the weekend with live music, free activities and a barbecue to raise awareness of all the services it offers children and young people aged between four and 25.
Charlie Cox, chief executive officer of the commission, said a lot of people have heard of the commission but might not know what it offers.
‘We wanted to showcase what we do because I think people don’t realise how much they can access through us,’ she said.
‘We are a charity but we make sure that everything is as accessible as possible, so most of our activities don’t cost anything, our youth clubs cost 50p a session, so it really is about making sure everyone can take part.’
Half of the commission’s services are about helping young people to be ambitious with schemes like the Prince’s Trust programme, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, residential weeks, youth clubs and the Youth Forum, which provides a voice for young people in the community.
The other half of the services concern emotional health and wellbeing, to support young people when they are going through difficult times, for instance if they are facing bereavement or terminal illness in their families.
If young people are feeling bored over the summer and want to meet new people and try out new things, Miss Cox urged them to get in touch.
‘We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so young people can just contact us through Messenger and ask anything, whether they want to find out about an activity or maybe they want some support.
‘We have a text service so people can just ping us a message if they’re a bit worried about picking up the phone. We know that young people aren’t massive fans of picking up the telephone.’
Charlie Edward, 15, is a regular at youth club and he gets a lot out of it.
‘It’s a safe, fun and friendly environment, you meet lots of people and you can talk to the staff about anything.
‘The staff are so nice and you can have a real laugh with them, but they also give really good advice.
‘The Youth Commission offers lots of different experiences, including the Youth Forum, so we meet up with the deputies and we talk about our main concerns like climate change and equality, and the deputies listen to our views because we live here as well.’
Benji Silk, 10, thoroughly enjoyed the fun day.
‘I helped set up the barbecue and helped to cook the sausages and burgers – and we made strawberry milkshakes.’
Benji’s brother Josh, 12, had set himself a more technical challenge. ‘I’ve been filming everything that’s been going on in the time-lapse on the GoPro camera and I’m going to make it into film and send it to the organisers.’