Discussion Forum (2018-20)
This project was funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
What is it and who is it for?
In this phase of the Forum’s operation, we adopted a different engagement approach and took the discussions into arenas where young people were already located i.e. schools, colleges and the British Army. We engaged approximately 350 young people during this time.
What we did
We ran three full year assemblies in secondary schools, using an approach we had developed based on a game show format where pupils became contestants and the audience became their ‘phone a friend’. This proved very successful in exploring and unpacking the issues relevant to young people living, learning and spending leisure time in Wolverhampton. Some of the issues raised, explored and discussed included serious youth violence; keeping safe in the real and virtual world; joint enterprise; avoiding a criminal record etc.
We worked in partnership with Police Officers from Wolverhampton Local Neighbourhood Policing Units to deliver these sessions. Officers engaged with the young people about keeping safe during the school/college breaks etc.
We also held a seminar in The City of Wolverhampton College (Bilston Campus) with the Public Services Students. We tailored the game show format to ensure it was age and subject appropriate. The issues identified were: unemployment, housing, public transport, crime, drugs, mental health and the disparity in the minimum wage for young people (differences between what 17 – 18 year olds and 19-20 years old receive – should be the same).
As a result of the work with the College we have now partnered with the British Army who are keen to get involved with the Youth Discussion Forum and other Square Pegs Round Holes programmes in the future.