In recent consultations young people in the Deighton area expressed the devastating impact the removal of their local park has had on them.
Deighton is situated in the top 20% most deprived council wards within the UK, an area which has seen a loss of youth provisions and a significant rise in crime and gang violence. Since the removal of the park, concerns of safety have risen amongst parents and guardians with young people expressing not being able to play outside now the park is no longer there.
In 2016 the local park, situated on Riddings road, central to the community was removed without any prior notice. The community have expressed that the park was the only adequate and designated environment for young people and families to socialise and explore safely. After speaking with the local authority we found that local parks were under review and the park equipment was due to be upgraded so it was removed for safety reasons. There is no guarantee a park will be reinstated in the future and the community are keen for action!
The park was essential to the development of young people’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. ‘Free play’ offered the opportunity for parents to fully engage with their children and it promoted social mixing within the community.
In our recent consultation young people were asked ‘what would they change about their community? Bringing back the park ranked number one on their list. Young people expressed how the loss of the park has affected them and shared their memories of playing there. Conscious Youth CIC would like to develop the passion and interest shown by local young people into a youth-led social action project.
Conscious Youth have raised £5,000 of funding to get the project off the ground; this will support the consultation event and fundraising activities and other costs.