Re:charge - Why re:charge is needed
Research from Save the Children has shown young people feel most at ease out on the streets. Free from adult supervision, free to be themselves. Living your social life on the streets, however, can make you vulnerable and leaves you open to negative pressure.
re:charge offers young people an environment where they can be free to make their own choices yet remain safe and have access to positive influences.
When people are disconnected they can become vulnerable. Young people who are disconnected from family relationships, disconnected from school, disconnected from values, ambitions, a sense of right and wrong, disconnected from a sense of personal worth and self-esteem are vulnerable.
If we want a better community for all our people, we have to take responsibility as a community to give support to vulnerable families and young people in such a way that they want to access it and can benefit from it.
re:charge seeks to be accessible, beneficial and to meet that need for connection.
The hard facts
Over 1000 calls about anti-social behaviour are taken by the police every month. Often these calls involve the behaviour of young people.
Maidenhead has few accessible municipal facilities and a study by The Prince's Trust published in November 2003 found 89% of young people believed there were gaps in local services.
In a survey conducted by The Bridge Trust Thames Valley amongst 500 young people, they strongly said they wanted somewhere to meet friends, talk and 'hang out', with music, food, drinks and various games including computer games. They want a place to be a base for a range of activities and somewhere they can access advice, information and guidance without being 'labelled' or judged.
There are 16,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 in Maidenhead and nearly 7,000 females between the ages of 15 and 24. (Population in Berkshire -1999 Review).
Because pockets of deprivation in Reading and Slough are greater, Maidenhead gets a very small proportion of county funds. There is therefore little statutory provision of required services and the net result is a necessary emphasis on crisis management and little scope for preventative activities.