Agenda item

Head of Service Report


Minute 4  -  Head of Service’s Report


The Service Manager, Lindsay Davidson, presented the report of the Youth and Play Service’s recent activities, and drew the Committee’s attention to the following:

1.  Following the Youth Service re-configuration and creation of the District-based hubs, the majority of staff are now in post.

2.  At the Birkenhead Youth Hub at Shaftesbury YC, the urban garden is developing well with the young people learning a great deal from looking after the livestock which includes ducks, chickens and rabbits.

3.  Callister Youth Club is working with Aiming High for Disabled Children to recruit new young people to the club.  With this in mind, an open evening for young people and their parents will be held in the autumn.

4.  Charing Cross Youth Club has been successful in raising money for a minibus which has been specially adapted for young people with disabilities.

5.  Over the summer, building enhancements have been taking place in South Wirral Youth Hub at Eastham Youth Centre.  The building now has a computer suite and dedicated rooms for life skills and sports.

6.  The recent service reconfiguration also involved the Outreach Teams.  The table (see paragraph 3.1 of the report) informs the Committee of the districts/wards covered by each of the 6 teams.

7.  South Wirral Outreach Team has launched the Trailblazers mountain bike project in partnership with the Fire & Rescue Service.

8.  In partnership with the Police, Response and the Youth Respect Team, West Wirral Outreach Project is playing a key role in addressing anti-social behaviour issues in West Kirby on a Friday evening.  Positive activities that have been organised include sports and BBQs

9.  Wallasey Youth Hub was launched on the 15th June this year.  There is a stand alone report later in the agenda on the progress of this new project for young people.

10.  Leasowe Youth Club is working closely with other youth providers in the area to develop the youth offer via and the Unity in the Community initiative.

11.  West Wirral Youth Hub at West Kirby YC has developed links with local church youth groups and as a result an after school drop is operating on a Tuesday and Wednesday.

12.  On Monday this week Wirral Youth Theatre relocated to Gilbrook School in Birkenhead.  It is envisaged that in the future the building will be maximised as a focal point for wider youth arts activities.

13.  55 young people from the Youth Theatre have received their V awards for achieving 50 or 100 hours volunteering.

14.  Currently the Youth Theatre’s peer education outreach company are touring their latest production – “Somebody’s Son”.  This thought provoking piece explores the consequences of violent behaviour and peer pressure.  The performance has been extremely well received by audiences in schools and youth clubs across the Borough.

15.  The Youth Theatre was instrumental in enabling workshops for young people which culminated in performances at each of the 4 Youth Hub launches.  This included bands, rap, dance and the Swing Singers.

16.  The Youth Theatre is working with the Education Psychology Service on a targeted mental health project.  The project enables young people to use dance and drama to express themselves and to look at issues such as self respect and stress.

17.  Between January and June, the housing team at Response have had contact with 622 young people around housing support issues, many of whom have presented with issues around domestic violence. The issue of young people’s experience of domestic violence is currently being looked at with other partners, namely the NHS.

18.  The Stop Gap project is the subject of a stand alone report later in tonight’s agenda.

19.  The Health Service in Schools initiative is progressing with most schools are now fully on board.  The initiative is proving successful in attracting young people to talk to workers about health and other issues that are concerning them.

20.  Through the District Activity Fund, Response is delivering information advice and guidance session in each of the 4 youth Hubs. To date, 587 young people have accessed this service.

21.  Over the past 6 months a number of young people have presented at Response who are feeling suicidal.  The NHS Suicide prevention group and Staying Safe outcome group are considering findings from Response and other agencies and are looking at further appropriate actions.

22.  A stand alone report on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will presented later on the agenda.

23.  The Community Play Rangers have been providing their outdoor programme between Easter and October.  They are delivering 30 play sessions in parks and play areas.  Activities have included junk modelling, face painting, dough making and art & crafts.

24.  Despite delays in starting, the Play for All initiative is proving successful and is receiving numerous referrals from other agencies.

25.  The fist year Play Builder programme has been completed with 11 play areas being improved or built. The 11 are listed in the report in paragraph 8.9.

26.  The second year of the Play Builder programme is on hold pending a final decision regarding Wirral’s allocation.

27.  Leasowe Adventure Playground has extended its opening times to enable young people from the Observatory school to use the facilities between 1pm and 3pm.

28.  All the summer Playschemes had a packed programme of activities for example, Charing Cross Playscheme had a trip to Light Water Valley Theme Park and a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

29.  At the end of 8.26 there is a table outlining the achievements to date in the lottery funded play projects.

30.  A majority of Youth Service training over the past 6 months has focused on skills needed to prepare for the enhanced youth offer resulting from the reconfiguration, which has included training centred on youth arts, sex and relationships and delivering the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

31.  9 youth workers recently received their NVQ 2 Qualification in Youth Work, with further 11 are currently in training.

32.  FPM are currently running a second management programme for workers in Wirral integrated youth support service.  These government funded programmes have included participants from a broad range of sectors, with many coming from the voluntary sector. 

33.  Following the last YAPSAC meeting of 16th February 2010 which focussed on young people and the media, Kathryn McGiveron from the PR Department and Sue Aubusson from Teen Wirral facilitated a media workshop for young people, which looked at how young people can be more involved in promotion.

34.  This year’s United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) National Sitting was held in Belfast.  The MYP’s attending voted on current campaigns, namely those dealing with university fees, transport, and political education.

35.  7 young people are now trained to act as verifiers for the NHS “You’re Welcome” initiative.

36.  During the summer, 3 young people were active members of the Children and Young People’s Taskforce group as part of the consultations for Wirral’s Future.

37.  And finally, TeenWirral launched 2 weeks ago. 


The Principal Manager handed over to the TeenWirral Website Manager, Sue Aubusson for an update.

38.  In the first two weeks, there had been over 2,000 hits on the site and over 15,000 pages read.

39.  Initial feedback has been extremely positive, including comments from parents indicating their pleasure at the availability of activities for teenagers and the emphasis on safety and health.

40.  There was a need to get more activity providers on board, even though the site is being widely promoted, not just by a big banner over the entrance to the Town Hall, but by partner agencies, links on the Facebook website, by young people informing their friends and through Elected Members’ blogs.

41.  In response to a question, she explained why the domain name had been chosen in preference to


Several Elected Members reported they had seen Wirral Youth Theatre’s performance of “Somebody’s Son”.  They stated it was an extremely powerful piece of drama and were disappointed that more secondary schools had not taken up the offer of a performance.  They also were highly impressed by the quality of the acting.



i)  that Wirral Youth Theatre be complimented on the excellence of the drama “Somebody’s Son” and that consideration be given to offering a second set of performances to secondary schools who did not take up the offer first time around;

ii)  that the Service Manager be thanked for her comprehensive report.


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