Failing to engage


It’s all going on at Brownhills Activity Centre. Image from Walsall Council.

I’d just like to make a quick observation if I might, as I had very positive feedback from yesterday’s meeting of Brownhills Neighbourhood Watch at the Activity Centre which I’m told was informative, well attended, friendly and well managed – but just one thing seems to have cast a shadow on the evening.

I’m hearing that members of the youth club attempted to attend, and were turned away, being told it was a meeting for ‘adults only’ – which is sad, as they’re a bright bunch with positive ideas and stuff to say about their community.

Since youngsters are statistically more likely to be victims of crime – and also often get tarred with the same brush as a minority of their criminal peers – it’s to my frustration that the ‘adults’ should reject attempts by youngsters to get involved in community matters that most certainly do concern them.

It seems to me that if as a community we are to build bridges and solve the issues that affect all decent folk here of whatever age or grouping then we really need to engage with each other.

After all, how keen are kids going to be to try to get involved in future, or to help with issues when called upon if their efforts to get involved previously have been spurned?

Think on folks. This community is about everyone in it, and that includes the youth who are fed up with the crime too. I appeal to those who would bar the kids in future to please think again and build bridges, not burn them.


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10 Responses to Failing to engage

  1. Graham says:

    Spot on Bob

  2. philcburton says:

    Well said Bob, if the youth are well behaved they should be allowed to have a say the community that they are part of, they might bring some new ideas in to the fold for discussion, give them a chance to be part of the community, not on the outside looking in.

  3. Nicola Harrison says:

    I am a neighbourhood officer who attended a very positive meeting last night and I am looking forward to future meetings. As a team, we are not aware of anyone being turned away from the meeting and we would always welcome anyone who from the community who has a shared interest in the area.

    • I believe it was staff of the Centre, not any of the meeting organisers, but if for next time it could be made clear the younger folk are welcome that would be great, cheers.


      • Nicola Harrison says:

        Thank you very much for clarifying the situation. I will attend the youth centre myself in the next week and speak with the kids who attend.

        • Thank you, if you could, that would be excellent.

          They’re a good bunch and do care.

          Cheers so much – all other feedback has been excellent. Just felt sorry for the kids.


  4. Donna says:

    What a shame that none of us Inside were aware and my friend and I had a chat to a few of the lads there and they never said a thing and they knew us. It would be a great idea to get the kids involved, maybe even a youth version of the same meeting would be appropriate.

  5. Dave says:

    Well said. The fact they wanted to attend is commendable. No one knows if they were going to be disruptive and tbh I doubt they would have been.
    It would have been good to get the younger views too.

  6. Alvin Cox says:

    I agree with everything you say Bob but to be truthful we in the meeting knew nothing about this problem but to be honest i do not think that there was any room for them to attend the meeting as it was very heavily attended by adults , I also agree that if possible a meeting could be arranged for the youngsters only which would be a good thing for them, (i would love to be a fly on the wall for this) I hope it can be arranged for them.

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