There it stood, centre stage, at Aireborough’s first Youth Conference; the ‘wishing’ tree; made by pupils at Guiseley School under the guidance of Mr Mangham, and covered in multi-coloured wishes from all the local primary schools in Aireborough. From Hawksworth, and Queensway, to Rawdon Littlemore, children of all ages had made their wish for how everyday life could be improved in Aireborough.
And what did they wish for? Well, in essence the wishes were not so dissimilar from those of adults at other Neighbourhood Forum workshops. The children wanted to see less litter, less decline in facilities, less busy traffic, and fewer charity shops. Overall, they want more distinct attractions, in different areas of Aireborough, with safe means of transport eg walking, cycling, to get from one to another. Like the adults, they discern a decline in community in Aireborough and want to take steps to reverse what they see as a negative trend.
What would make life better for them, was a clean up of ginnels and snickets to get around the area and more cycle tracks; doing up the current facilities they loved eg Aireborough Leisure Centre, Guiseley and Yeadon Theatres; and upgrading local parks such as Nunroyds, Springfield and Yeadon Dam with ‘modern’ facilities. They also wanted to see more clubs, places to go for young people, and community get togethers like festivals, with a harder line taken with anti-social behaviour eg drugs and the misuse of playgrounds by teenagers. They also want to enhance the area’s natural feel, with more trees, areas preserved for ‘nature’, and a clean up of ‘shabby’ areas, like Nunroyd beck, and parts of Esholt woods.
What was more fascinating was the detail of their ideas, here is a selection; some thoughts for the enterprising perhaps?
A cafe, rowing boats, and cycle track around – Yeadon Dam
A cafe, paddling pool, picnic areas, in Nunroyds Park
A wooden trail/assault course, and tree top trek in Springfield or Nunroyd
A viewing area for the Airport
Aireborough Leisure Centre – Basics: a clean up of the pool, showers, bigger lockers. Additional: interactive water features, a water slide,
A local nature reserve or animal sanctuary or area for watching birds
A play barn, with a paintball room
More places at Beavers, Brownies and Cubs
Drama, art, craft and writing groups.
A local museum/science/art gallery
Cinema or films shown in Guiseley and Yeadon Theatre
Ice cream parlour and/or smoothie bar where they could meet friends
More sports facilities eg bowling alley, ice rink, BMX, goal posts, Astroturf pitch,
More community art, and water features around the area to brighten Aireborough up
Finally – they wanted to see more schools, as well as the current schools renovated.
Like adults, children want to stay local – they do not want to keep going into Leeds; and many of their parents do not allow them to go, for fear of their safety – this is especially the case with Bradford. So, Aireborough needs local facilities for them to learn and have fun whilst they are growing up.
Very impressive. An example to us all, hopefully.