Wednesday, 26 August 2009

New Outreach Bus Scheme Making Good Ground

Anglesey's new outreach bus service is making good ground in efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Launched last month, the 'mobile youth club' is already proving a hit with youngsters as it plays a prominent role in the Anti-Social Behaviour Summer Project.

Kitted out with a modern entertainment and computer system, the £45,000 bus has visited six villages as part of the summer project, which offers young people an opportunity to sample varied activities during the school holidays.

The summer project, which is run by the Anglesey Community Safety Partnership and Red Cross, offers young people an opportunity to sample varied activities during the school holidays. On Thursday, youngsters will be visiting Benllech Bowling green to try their hand at bowls.

Anglesey ASB Reduction Officer, Gareth Bayley Hughes, explained, "Historically, we've seen incidents amongst youngsters peaking over the summer period. The aim of this project has been to alleviate boredom and provide constructive use of leisure time for the young people. This in turn will divert them away from anti-social activities and help reduce the likelihood of them getting into trouble."

Villages visited by the outreach youth bus include Llanerchymedd, Benllech, Brynteg, Moelfre, Llanfihanel-yn-Nhowyn and Gwalchmai. Activities have included five-a-side football, swimming and gym sessions at Amlwch and Plas Arthur Leisure Centres; cycling and orienteering in Newborough forest to test teamwork skills and awareness sessions on anti-social behaviour, alcohol, drugs, first aid, sexual health, homelessness and fire safety.

Outreach Youth Worker, Nia Davies, added, "The outreach bus has helped provide a focal point in the communities visited and we've succeeded in attracting around 50 young people to take part in the summer project activities every week so far. The young people taking part have really enjoyed themselves and hopefully we can build on this in the future."

Community Safety portfolio holder, Councillor William I Hughes, believes that the outreach bus is already proving its worth in communities across the Island.

He said, "As well as providing activities and advice, this service is also allowing us to engage and consult with young people in their communities. Keeping them occupied, out of trouble and harm's way is a priority, but we're also keen to find out their local needs, and how they'd like to see services develop and how we can best help them."


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