It’s really good to see the Metropolitain Police Authority getting out and about into the community trying to find out the views and attitudes of children and young people. I went along earlier this week to see how one of their consultation events was run at the fantastic Kids Co. (more on them at the end of this post) What I saw was encourgaging – it was a very well-attended event and some important issues were raised- it was made clear that the young people were going to be listened to seriously.
However, there is still room for improvement on the way in which consultations like this are carried out – for example, simple design issues like setting up the hall in a less confrontational and old-school fashion (For eg. we had older white male policemen in uniforms up at one end behind tables, and the rest of us – mainly young people of many different races dressed in casual clothes in seats much like a school assembly- sat facing them in an open forum style meeting.) Admittedly there were good intermediary facilitators in the form of Camila Batmanghelidjh (Kids co.) and Cindy Butts (MPA) which did help greatly in moving the conversation forward.
As I said, its definitely a positive step in the right direction – here’s to more and better communication between service providers and the people who REALLY use them! :)
You should know about Kids Co…
What do Kids co. do? They support vulnerable children and young people from inner city backgrounds – but support doesn’t sum it up too well as they go about doing this in an absolutely inspiring way. Check out their website for more info, particularly the work of the Urban Academy which takes a refreshingly holistic approach to education and skills.
They are currently looking to replicate their successes across the country. Also, they sell funky bags, barethreads hoodies and T-shirts to raise extra cash to support their work. I’m about to buy one!(Watch this space for a pic!)