Summer is here and its holiday time for many and off course the long weeks of the school holidays with what used to feel like endless days of running wild outside and having a whale of a time with your mates. Fond memories and probably a bit over romanticised and there were occasions where you would fall foul of the anger of adults and even the odd meeting with the local police. I was a bit nostalgic when I was speaking to some young people at the Mariner Street MUGA last week, they were off to continue building their den , they had a spade to help dig out their foundations, but they still had time for a kick about and a chat with this old timer. Summer holidays can be a time for young people to be taking risks and later that day I spoke to some lads who were diving into Lock 16 without any care or consideration for their own safety. I did stop for a chat and the guys were respectful and understanding but they were having too much fun to listen to my concerns or the ramblings of this old Fuddy Duddy.
We can easily get over sensitive about some of the risks that our young people put themselves through and I am part of the narrative that complains about cotton wool kids and them spending to much time on computers and with other digital screens. The community is often the best facilitator of our young peoples safety and the Summer Camp being run at Tamfourhill Community Hub is a great example of providing youngsters with challenges and exciting creative activities that are facilitated safely within a supporting nurturing environment. Local people with the commitment , enthusiasm, and skills to support a great summer community programme and this is a great template for the types of youth opportunities that I would like to see supported and developed throughout Camelon and Tamfourhill as part of the wider community safety strategy.
Summer activity programmes and play-schemes have been a solid, safe and reliable aspect for many communities throughout Scotland , however the usual issues have worked against their continued universal delivery; reduced funding, increased bureaucracy and a lack of staff and volunteers. In order to fill some of the community safety gaps that these play-schemes traditionally covered Fearless Scotland https://www.fearless.org/campaigns/Scotland-summer have launched a brand-new summer campaign in partnership with Network Rail It was launched to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holidays. The campaign focuses on empowering young people to stay safe whether they are at home, travelling or away for the day or on holiday. This campaign will run for six weeks and covers a whole host of community safety topics for young people and each specific topic has its own campaign video. Please pass these links onto any young people you know who are out and about in the community through their school summer holidays
I wonder what the lads diving into Lock 16 might have said in response to this short clip: https://youtu.be/jncVb2onYC4
For some children and young people, the summer holidays when schools are closed can be a particularly dangerous time for them. Home might not be a safe place – they might be physically hurt there or be neglected.
It is important that if you have any concerns about someone you SPEAK UP. This can be to a trusted adult like your parent/carer, a social worker or youth worker or contact police directly. If you are worried about being at home or if you are being hurt, please call Childline on 0800 1111 or talk to an adult you trust. Or use this link: https://www.fearless.org/give-info
Please have a look at this short clip : https://youtu.be/V3b1lsK0s7c
We have two busy railway lines going though Camelon and Tamfourhill, railway tracks, embankments and land around the railway track are common areas for young people to mischievously stray onto when they are playing, and not necessarily to do any harm as this clip illustrates: https://youtu.be/wk19PbCokHk
And finally, those long summer holidays and light nights are often when young people might start experimenting with alcohol and substances and we should not underestimate the pressure that inexperienced youngsters can be put under
Let’s not get matters out of proportion , summer holidays are the best, memories may be fading but they remain positive and to be cherished , lets support our young people to make the most of their local environment, enjoy their holidays and encourage the positive social learning that can be facilitated through running wild in our parks and open green spaces.
IF YOU NEED HELP:
Police Scotland can be contacted 24/7 – for non-emergencies call 101 or in an emergency call 999
If you are on a train and want to report a non-emergency incident you can text BTP on 61016 and tell them what has happened.
Childline can help you if you are worried or feeling low. You can call them on 0800 1111 or visit their website childline.org.uk
Whatever you are doing this summer, stay safe and remember to look out for your mates.