Wednesday, November 04, 2009
An evening at Edge Hill Youth Centre - with cake!
Last week I won a "spider cake" from Sayers, in a Twitter competition. They were inviting Halloween tweets and I sent them some Halloween jokes, like "How do you know when a vampire has been in the bakery? All of the jam has been sucked out of the doughnuts". I went to collect the cake today, expecting a small 8" sponge with some spidering icing, and was amazed to see a great big party cake, of a fabulous black spider, with licourice legs. What on earth was I going to do with such a magnificent creature?
I had been invited to join the Edge Hill Youth Centre's youth council this evening, to discuss their issues and concerns, so it seemed like the answer to my cake dilemma. After we had a good chat at the youth council, I joined all the children of the junior club and the youth council members in the kitchen, where the cake was received with great enthusiasm.
Alas the photo which was taken on my mobile phone, with a view to sending it to Sayers, is blurred, and there was another camera in evidence so the kids were all looking in the wrong direction, but you can see how closely they were all guarding the spider, making sure nobody was going to take it off them again!
It lasted about 5 minutes I think, never has any cake been so appreciated. A big thank you to Sayers bakery!
I had a really good time, most of the children and young people live in Kensington, and indeed in Fairfield, although the club itself is just outside of the ward, and we have met together many times recently. I really feel I am beginning to get know them each personally now.
A couple of weeks ago Wendy and I presented certificates to many of the senior club, for achieving a 6 week first aid course with Redeemer Aid - they came to Central Youth club with young people from other clubs in the district to celebrate their achievements.
Then Liam and I met them again in Liverpool Town Hall at the Youth Democracy event where the young people of City and North Liverpool came together in a workshop with some local councillors and youth workers, and neighbourhood services, to talk over the things that matter to them. (Each district met separately throughout the building, after attending a Q&A in the council chamber)
Last week I was a community event for young people in St Francis of Assisi Academy where the young chair of the Youth Council approached me and asked me to come to tonight's meeting, and finally on Monday night I spent three hours at the YAG (City and North Liverpool Youth Advisory Group) with 15 young people from across the district, including at least 5 members of the Edge Hill youth council. We had a political education session where they made decorative models (mobiles) of the City and North district, and held an election, with manifestos and a secret ballot, for a new Chair and ViceChair of the YAG.
Tonight I gave the youth council members my councillor's business card and told them to contact me whenever they had questions to ask or points to make. I was bowled over when they requested that I formally become a champion of the club and I suggested they might want to set up a Friends of Edge Hill Youth Centre, perhaps on FB, and encourage other supporters to join.
People are always moaning about young people, I am tired of hearing them all described as "feral" and "like animals", when as with all things, it is the behaviour of a few that ruin the reputation of the many. These young people are really special, they engage with all sorts of projects, indeed only last week they put on a show about the racism affecting our local shopkeepers - and they deserve the fullest support from us all.