Saturday, 2 March 2013

Friendlier adults, good conversations & Kings Heath Hight Street

The Children's society's Good childhood conversations results for Kings Heath were out for adult discussion on Thursday night.  Based on The Good Childhood Inquiry the conversations gave around 70 local leaders and people from the community the opportunity to come together to discuss and understand the challenges of childhood today.

The Good news is, Kings Heath Youth are slightly happier than the national average.  The bad is that they don't feel safe and they view adults as more 'unfriendly' than the national average.  Bus drivers and shop keepers were seen as the worst offenders:

'People in shops don't trust kids'

Tim Boyes from Queensbridge rather generously suggested that the divergence of many bus routes and many big schools meant the High Street was saturated with young people at certain times of the day, many using the shops, and shear numbers were bound to cause problems (even if, as Laura Watts from Dens of Equality pointed out, it also means young people are some of the biggest spenders on our High Street!)

However, anyone who has observed young people and interactions with all adults in Kings Heath will know that young people in general are not listened to in the same way as adults, and that we (all adults) are not as friendly as we should be to young people.

Safety is recognised by both adults and children as one of the most important issues (see Acting Global, thinking local), and as we have been working on 'car culture' project since January, we (at HGA!) aren't surprised to see youth voice and safety issues being seen as important by both children and adults.

Our car culture workshops have already run at Kings Heath Primary and we are now in the build up to our main event on 30th March.  On Friday I also found out we've made it onto the front cover of My Kings Heath for March/April 2013 - great article in there too!

Now, more than ever, is the time to bring young and old together to look at how we use our High Street and all roads, to make them safer and happier places.  Please see full report here.

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