Pitstone Parish Council offers a Youth Cafe service for senior school children aged 11-18 years on a Wednesday evening during term time at Pitstone Pavilion. We contract with a specialist in the field of youth cafe’s and youth work to provide this service. Sessions run from 6.30pm to 8pm, £2 per child, no need to book.
The cafe was created in recognition of the fact that other ‘youth clubs’ in the village had all ceased operating and Bucks County Council had withdrawn all funding and support, leaving young people with no-where safe to meet, socialise and learn new experiences. This left the young people gathering outside the shops, restaurants, bus stops and playgrounds. The young people asked for somewhere warm, dry and safe to meet. It provides a particularly valuable service in our rural community where children tend to dissipate between a wide number of senior schools (Tring, Wing, 3 x Aylesbury and Stoke), giving them a means of keeping in touch with other local children and sharing experiences.
As well as providing a safe, dry meeting place for teenagers to chat, we have a range of equipment that they can use whilst on site such as skate ramps (helmets must be worn), basketball, frisbee etc and indoors we have console/board/card games and other activities. We provide a range of snacks eg toasties or chocolate bars. The young people can speak with our youth workers about any personal or social problems they may be experiencing. Thames Valley Police try to attend the cafe sessions on an ad-hoc basis, and the young people are welcome to speak to them about any concerns, policing matters, bullying etc.
Over 725 local children benefited from our youth cafe service between it’s launch in November 2011 and November 2018, showing the scale of local need.
The cafe is not a traditional youth ‘club’ and does not provide structured or enforced activities in the same way as more formal organisations such as the Scouting or Guiding movements. All activities are optional. Some young people just prefer to chat & hang out whilst some prefer to be active.
Pitstone Parish Council meets all the running and employment costs. In recognition of the fact that parish councillors are not trained youth workers, the management of the cafe is contracted to a specialist in the field. The cafe is also supported by a number of volunteers who attend, supervise and interact with the young people. In fact between 2011 & 2018 our volunteers provided over 7,700 volunteer hours between them, for which we are immensely grateful. If you would be interested in joining the voluntary team, please contact the parish clerk, as more helpers are always required.
It is vital that we have accurate contact details for the parents of each child on site, therefore parents must sign an application form before the child can attend. Please click this link to access the form and youth cafe registration site: http://youthcafe.pitstone.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR0_Oh05LOtyZSkKG2ZppWIemE0_IR60aJh8XPTsLsiTwlXJkm2r38QWa44 alternatively a parent can attend the first session with their child to complete the necessary papers. The young people then sign in on arrival and pay the entry fee of £2 which contributes towards the overheads. There are no termly fees or subscription charges. There is no obligation to attend each week or for your child to attend the whole session (for instance, some may pop in just to speak with a youth worker about a particular issue). The young people are free to come and go as they please, but if the children wish to leave site before the end of the session, for safety reasons they must sign out again. The majority of young people within this age range make their own way to and from the cafe, so please make sure that your child exercises due care and diligence when travelling around the village and keeps you updated if they choose to leave the site.
Our youth cafe helps to build up relationships between the young people and the adults within our community and between the young people and Thames Valley Police. Pitstone saw instances of youth anti-social behaviour within our community reduce after the cafe launched. The youth workers and Thames Valley Police have been able to help a number of young people in need of support.
Residents that may struggle to afford the entry fee should speak to the cafe manager in confidence and suitable arrangements can be put in place. We feel strongly that price should not be a barrier to young people being able to access youth counselling services.
Queries relating to the youth cafe should be directed to Dave Rollins, Cafe Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07977 926596 or the parish clerk on email@example.com
Please find attached a series of youth cafe related policies and information about how we look after your personal information.