2nd Aireborough Youth Forum – Our Children Need More Facilities To Develop Skills

Young people present their ideas for socially responsible start-ups.

Young people present their ideas for socially responsible start-ups.

There is was again, that word that so many parents must dread,  ‘drugs’: so many time when we talk with young people it comes up again and again: a concern not helped by ‘drugs raids’ on the new affordable housing on Netherfield Road.  The venue for the comment on this occasion was Aireborough Extended Services’ 2nd Annual Youth Forum, and the subject was setting up a business with social value.   Six teams from Guiseley School and Benton Park, presented their ideas for a start-ups, and almost all of them were to do with providing something for young people to do in Aireborough – rather than succumb to drugs, as one team put it.

The business ideas ranged from selling school tuck; the early starting point for many a budding entrepreneur,  and then branched out into innovative options such as the retail ‘Youth Bay’, which allowed the buying, selling and building of a community around digital games,  and The Classic, a film club for young people where they learnt to make their own films.   There was also an idea for creating a Wildlife Sanctuary, where young people could learn environmental skills, and Youth Savers, a youth club for teens.   The one linking factor of many – all of these were places to ‘hang out’ and do things with others of similar interest, because there is a  lack of such facilities in Aireborough.  This is something that the

Juniors with their ideas for retail stores in Aireborough.

Juniors with their ideas for retail stores in Aireborough.

Aireborough Forum picked up in its 2013 research, and why we have asked Paddie Breeze to build a team of people willing to help build our Areas’ youth facilities.  If you would like to help, contact Paddie on aireboroughnp@gmail.com

Store-Front ideas

Store-Front ideas

The junior schools had not been left out of Youth Leader, SimonToyne’s thinking; and, able assisted by Peter Collins, the under 11’s had designed shop fronts for stores they would like to see in Aireborough.  It was amazing just how many of these were specialised cafes; from designing your own Magnum, to milk shakes, smoothies, and sushi.  Yet again a key theme was a place to meet and do things with friends, along with a strong sports theme for activities children like to get involved in – dancing for girls, skateboarding for boys.

So, the learning for the Forum, and others, is a strong reminder, that to be their best, we must work to improve local facilities for our children; places for after school  where they can develop their skills, and learn to be the best they can.  An old ethos that Aireborough seems to have had in spades in the past.

The learning for the young people at the Youth Forum, was that if you have confidence to stand up and speak in public, and self-reliance from being able to start your own enterprise,  you will have two very important life skills to stand you in good stead for a the future.  They will be able to start this through the kind donation of skills courses given as prizes to each High School by Young Enterprise.


Featured image – Sporty Store – Joseph Foster Rufford Park

Primary School Winners

1. Hannah Lund, Rufford Park, Too Hot Too Cold Cafe

2. Alexandria Sanderson, Saint Peter & Paul’s school, Bookworm’s Book Shop

3. Ella Firbank, Tranmere Park School, Choocy Woccy’s Chocolate Shop

People’s Prize voted by peers – Nicole Masey, Hawksworth School, Smoothie Bar

High School Winners

1. Guiseley School, The Classic, (Film Club)

2. Guiseley School, Customised Clothing Company

3. Benton Park, Youth Bay, (Games Club)


Guiseley School, Wildlife Sanctuary

Benton Park, Youth Savers

Benton Park, Tuck-Up

Prizes of skills courses were donated by Julia Fallowfield, Regional Manager, of the Charity Young Enterprise.