A £15k government-backed pilot project to give young people more opportunities has so far failed to capture their ‘interest and imagination’.
Caistor Town Council won a £15k government grant to fund an ‘innovative’ ‘All About You’ project aimed at providing more activities for youngsters – and getting them involved in planning events.
But the project’s positive activities manager, Rob Pitman is not giving up.
He says he is determined to make the project a success and see it rolled out in other areas.
He said: “This is the early stages of the project and what we’re looking to do, working collaboratively, is create a new culture and that’s going to take a long time and a lot of work.
“We want to see and hear what they would like, if I’m not putting on anything interesting.
“I want to open up the conversation and get young people involved and take control.
“No-one’s done it before, we’re trying to do something different.
“What we’ve done so far hasn’t been enough to capture their interest and imagination so I’ve got to do more.
“With every stage we’re learning more about how to do this
“It’s making me double my effort to make sure we crack this.
“I’m determined it’ll succeed.”
Activities arranged so far include a web design project, which attracted a small number of people, and a poet event, which failed to generate any interest at all.
Rob said he does not know whether young people are getting the message and are not interested in the activities - or whether they are just not aware the activities are taking place.
And Rob had this message for the area’s youngsters: “We need you to get on board, we’re looking for your ideas.
“This is your chance to help determine the future of activity in Caistor.
“We’re trying to be forward thinking and innovative about this.
“There’s a real opportunity here for Caistor and the surrounding areas.”
Rob said he wants to hear from young people and will help them with anything from organising a ‘dungeons and dragons’ club to setting up a community cinema or a music festival.
Caistor town councillor Mike Stopper has met with Rob to discuss the project.
Speaking at Caistor Town Council’s monthly meeting in the town hall on October 8, Coun Stopper said: “My main concern is the extent to which we can generate a response from young people.
“At the present time that response has been very limited.”
“It’s such a shame that so much of this work isn’t generating the response we’d hoped for, at the present time.”
Speaking after the meeting, town clerk Helen Pitman said: “This is an innovative scheme, we’ve conceived by ourselves, members of the steering group and Lincolnshire County Council youth services.
“It was seen as an innovative way of taking youth provision forward because there have been so many cuts.
“Our scheme is being tried and tested with a view if it works to roll out in other areas.”
Ms Pitman said funding was from the government’s Our Place scheme.
This aims to give people more power over local services and budgets in their neighbourhood.