Youth leaders plea

PUBLISHED: 11:09 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

SIR – I am sorry that Mr Green (Herts Advertiser letters, March 18) misunderstood the thrust of my letter following the Gang Show . Indeed I do realise why and how the Scout and Guide movements provide encouragement for young people but I was not suggest

SIR - I am sorry that Mr Green (Herts Advertiser letters, March 18) misunderstood the thrust of my letter following the 'Gang Show'.

Indeed I do realise why and how the Scout and Guide movements provide encouragement for young people but I was not suggesting that all young people want to join this type of organisation; or indeed are able to do so.

The movement in St Albans area has a waiting list of youngsters wanting to join. Unfortun-ately there are not enough people willing to be leaders!

I was not either suggesting that all those who are not "joiners" of clubs of any sort are disaffected; my focus was on a narrow group who seem to find vandalism and anti-social behaviour their only pleasurable outlet.

I agree with Mr Green's statement about the lack of facilities and the current celebrity culture, which can hardly seem an exemplar for the young, but which is lauded by the media.

In my youth also there seemed to be much more available, with leadership provided and paid for by the local council; but we had 36p in the pound for basic tax and simpler and cheaper ways of doing things.

Economics, both macro and personal, do drive our lives but we want more for less these days.

I do not want all youth to conform to any particular standard other than to have respect and care for people and property.

I do chat to many youngsters, both the disaffected ones with whom I have remonstrated when actually observing wrecking behaviour (and being told by my peers not to do so because I might be attacked) and others with whom I share interesting conversations based upon their interests and my experiences.

Sandridge Parish Council, of which I am a member, has had some youths invited to attend our meeting when issues affecting them have been on the agenda. So we do listen. The youth club in Sandridge, however, has been disbanded for lack of attendance.

I was a school governor for eight years; I am coordinator for a day-care centre for the elderly, and a member of the committee of the Jersey Farm Residents Association.

I can do these things now because I am retired, but I did three of the four of them when I was running my own business and leading an active social life.

I guess what we need is more volunteer leaders for all sorts of activities if we are to engage people in group activities.

CLLR LYN BOLTON

Jersey Farm

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