Children’s & youth work links

Links from around the world of children’s and youth work:

What happened when 9 teens gave up their mobile phones for a week: anyone who has worked with teenagers for more than 5 minutes know how connected to their mobiles they are.  So what happens if they were separated from their mobile lifelines for a full week?

The Smart Talk is a website that helps parents and kids come up with a set of mobile phone rules together, and creates a handy agreement you can print out.  This tool is more than a simple checklist; it’s meant to start conversations between parents and their child.

What I Teach My Students About Alcohol: Austin McCann shares what he taught his young people about drinking alcohol from the Bible.

Teens Tell All: Your Guide To Teen Slang, From Bae To Woke: As part of TODAY’s “Teens Tell All” series, they asked teenagers to enlighten adults about all those mysterious terms they throw out when they talk or message.

Jesus was a Youth Minister: Jesus’ disciples were mainly young men.  This makes Peter the perfect, Biblical example of what it looks like to mentor a teenager!

 

Drinkaware for Education resources

Drinkaware for Education resources

Drinkaware alcohol education resources have recently received the PSHE Association Quality Mark for best practice PSHE teaching resources.

Drinkaware for Education offers free, curriculum-linked alcohol education resources for students aged 9 to 14. Incorporating discussion-based activities, role plays and scenarios drawn from everyday situations, the resources make it easy to equip students with the information they need to stay safe from alcohol harm.

Using videos, lesson plans and a range of activities, Drinkaware for Education addresses emotional health and peer pressure, as well as the harms and risks commonly associated with alcohol.

Developed in conjunction with teachers and educational experts, the resources are flexible and can be adapted to suit teachers’ needs. Teachers can mix and match which activities to use and when to teach them, and they can be taught in any order.

Young people are encouraged to work in teams, as well as take part in whole group activities which develop essential skills such as risk-awareness, managing peer pressure and communication, through sessions covering:

  • The law on alcohol
  • Health and social harms associated with drinking alcohol underage
  • The effect alcohol can have on emotional health and wellbeing
  • The relationship between peer pressure and underage drinking

Visit the Drinkaware for Education website to register for these free resources

Why are young people drinking less alcohol?

Girl drunk on bench

There was a fascinating article published in New Statesman about how young people are drinking less and that individual alcohol consumption in Britain has declined sharply.

Whenever horrific tales of the drunken escapades of the youth are reported, one photo reliably gets wheeled out: “bench girl”, a young woman lying passed out on a public bench above bottles of booze in Bristol. The image is in urgent need of updating: it is now a decade old. Britain has spent that time moving away from booze.

Here’s some useful facts pulled from the article:

  • In 2013, the average person over 15 consumed 9.4 litres of alcohol, 19 per cent less than 2004.
  • As with drugs, the decline in use among the young is particularly notable: the proportion of young adults who are teetotal increased by 40% between 2005 and 2013.
  • 80% of adults are making some effort to drink less
  • There are 13% fewer pubs in the UK than in 2002.

Student Safety

West Yorkshire Police have published a helpful post on Student Crime Prevention Tips:

Burglary Tips

  • Be Safe, Be Secure – Burglary
  • Keep your doors and windows locked when you go out
  • Mark your property with your University and Student Number
  • Don’t leave cash and valuables on display in your room
  • Leave a light or radio on when you go out, to give the impression someone is in – maybe use a timer switch.
  • Make sure your mobile is with you all the time, but don’t have it on display

Check our West Yorkshire Police burglary campaign on “It only takes a minute”


Personal Safety

  • Avoid walking alone after dark.
  • Keep to busy, well lit roads and try to look confident even if you don’t feel it.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the road and keep walking. If it continues head for a busy area or lighted house to ask for help.
  • Get a personal attack alarm and carry it in your hand.
  • Carry your bag close to you with the fastening next to your body, but if someone tries to get it, let it go.
  • Keep your house keys in your pocket for easy access.
  • When you go out, tell people what time you expect to arrive home.
  • When out at night, get a taxi or someone you trust to take you home.
  • Always sit in the back of the taxi.
  • Don’t be tempted to hitch a ride or accept a lift from someone you don’t know.

Mobile Phone Safety

Only make essential calls in the street. Using a mobile phone in a busy area advertises the fact that you have a piece of valuable property and while talking on the phone you are distracted and not aware of who might be watching you or who might be a potential thief. Use them out of public view and somewhere where you can see what it happening around you.
Many mobile phones are stolen in places like pubs and nightclubs when they are left on a bar, table or on a nearby seat. Open handbags also prove tempting for thieves, as do carried rucksacks, coats left hanging on chairs and phones left unattended in vehicles and other places.
Security mark your phone with a postcode and house number using an ultra-violet pen. The best place is underneath the battery near to the SIM card and on the back of the battery.

A mobile phone can be identified through two numbers:

  • The phone number unique to the SIM card.
  • The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number which is unique to the phone handset.

Currently when police take crime reports the SIM card number is recorded only. The victim then contacts their phone network provider. The policy is then to send a blocking signal out to the SIM card rendering it useless. Criminals have picked up on this and they discard the SIM card straightaway after stealing the phone. They are then left with a handset that can be sold on in a pub or to a local dealer who then only has to buy a legitimate SIM card and the phone is once again operational with no way of detection.

However it is possible for any person to find out the IMEI number of a handset by putting the following code into the phone *#06# (star, hash, zero, six, hash). This means that if Police were to record the IMEI number then we would have a chance of detecting persons using stolen handsets.

Police are now urging mobile phone users to key in the *#06# number and record their IMEI number so in the event of the phone being stolen the police have a chance of arresting a person who may subsequently use the handset. IMEI numbers will now be recorded by the Police and checked against suspected stolen mobile phones. Also see : The Government’s new Mobile Phone Crime website :www.immobilise.com (external link).


Vehicle Safety

  • Always lock your vehicle – never leave a car door unlocked or a window or sunroof open even when just going into a shop for a moment or two.
  • Always try to park in a well-lit, open location.
  • Don’t leave any valuables in your car and never leave items on display – lock them in the boot.
  • Don’t leave credit cards or cheque books in the glove compartment. 1 in 5 stolen cheque and credit cards are taken from cars.
  • Never leave your vehicle documents in the car – they could help a thief to sell it.
  • Security mark your stereo and if it’s removable, always take it with you. Make a note of the serial number and keep it in a safe place.

Taxi

There are different types of taxis and knowing the difference is important. Taxis are black and white and these can be legally hailed at the side of the road. Private hire taxis (such as Premier or Amber Cars) cannot be hailed legally at the side of the road as they are personal vehicles and must be booked in advance.

If you do not book a private hire taxi in advance you are not insured if the driver has an accident. Make sure you only use black and white taxis when hailing them at the side of the road, or pre-book your private hire taxi in advance.

Only use licensed taxis, do not accept lifts of people pretending to be a taxi. Make sure the driver is either wearing or displaying their ID badge. Make sure you tell a friend (if travelling alone) when and where you are going and try keep a record of the taxis company name, number plate and ID badge number if possible if anything does go wrong and you need to make a complaint.


Drink Spiking

Drink spiking occurs when a substance, such as drugs or alcohol, is added to your drink without you knowing about it.This may affect how you act or behave with other people.

If your drink has been spiked, the way you feel will depend on which drug has been used but you may feel drowsy, confused and find it difficult to speak or move. You may also feel more drunk than you should be given the amount of drink you have consumed. When these feelings have passed you may not be able to remember what happened.

Ways to avoid being Spiked:

  • Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know
  • Use a specially adapted cover for your glass or bottle
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Plan your night out if you can
  • Appoint a drink watcher if you go to the toilet or off for a dance.
  • Remember alcohol affects your reactions; you’ll be less alert.
  • Don’t feel that soft drinks aren’t spiked…they are!
  • If you think for one moment that your drink has been tampered with, don’t take a chance. Get another one.
  • And remember, males also fall victim to this type of offence.

For more information check out NHS website which has useful information on symptoms, what to do and prevention.


One Punch

As part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing work to reduce violent crime the Force is raising awareness of how a night out can lead to a fight and the loss of a life.

The ‘One Punch Can Kill’ campaign reminds people that in a split second a person can become a killer or be killed.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy the pubs and clubs in the towns and cities in West Yorkshire, but would encourage people to consider how much alcohol they consume.  What can start out as a fun night drinking with friends can easily turn into a nightmare.  Just one punch can ruin the lives of both the victim and the person who throws the punch.

West Yorkshire Police are committed to tackling violent crime and will continue our efforts to reduce the numbers of victims, but we need people to play their part by thinking about their actions before they get involved in a fight on a night out.

Watch our One Punch is all it takes Video


Clubbing/Bar Safety

Thefts from clubbers and bar goes rose by nearly a quarter in the last year, and anyone who becomes a victim faces the expense and inconvenience of replacing the stolen items along with the heartache of losing treasured photos, videos and others items.

You can guard against becoming a victim of theft by:

  • Always securing zips and fastenings on bags and pockets.
  • Never leaving bags, mobile phones, coats and other valuables unattended.
  • Avoiding advertising your valuables to would-be thieves.

You can also protect your mobile phone by:

  • Downloading a tracking app.
  • Insuring it, and recording the IMEI number.
  • Saving all your contacts, in and address book or on a computer.

Over the coming months, officers will be handing out crime prevention advice and speaking to people in city centres about ways to avoid becoming a victim.

‘Operation Dancefloor aims to raise awareness of a recent rise in such thefts among shoppers and clubbers, by encouraging people to take simple steps to avoid becoming a victim.


Drugs

Cannabis is still Illegal

Despite what some people say, cannabis is still an illegal drug.

If you are caught in possession of it, or are dealing it to your mates – you could be arrested.
This could lead to you placed in a cell and a possible court appearance, as well as a conviction which could affect your future employment prospects
There are also the well documented health risks, physical and psychological hazards, mental health issues and the long-term risk of lung cancer.
If you need help kicking the habit, see the “getting help” section on Talk To Frank


Did You Know?

You can also check policing and safety information for the area where you live by inserting your postcode into our Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) website. We encourage you to sign up for free regular updates via email from your local policing team – more details on the site. Check out the local policing NPT Website

Councillor in attack on food bank

Councillor Chris Steward

A senior York politician has sparked a furious row by saying there is no real poverty in Britain and people should not donate to food banks.

Chris Steward, a Conservative councillor, said living standards had surged, that there was no need for food banks, that they were an insult to starving people around the world, and that donating to them allowed recipients to spend more money on alcohol and cigarettes.

But his comments have been condemned by political opponents and The Trussell Trust, which runs 275 banks nationwide.  Chris Mould, the charity’s executive chairman, said more than 10,000 professionals nationwide were referring people to food banks and said: “He is making totally inappropriate assertions which I challenge him to back up with proper evidence.”

Coun Steward said on twitter that it insulted those in poverty to claim it existed in the UK. Asked to elaborate, he said Britain had relative poverty, like every country, but not absolute poverty.

He said:

“We have lots of poor people, but living standards have surged over the years. There is certainly no need for food banks; no-one in the UK is starving and I think food banks insult the one billion in the world that go to bed hungry every day and ignore the fact a child dies of hunger every three seconds.”

“The fact some give food to food banks, merely enables people who can’t budget (an issue where schools should do much more and I have said the council should) or don’t want to, to have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes etc.”

Mr Mould said Coun Steward was “poorly informed” and said living standards for people on low incomes had declined in recent years, with heating costs rising by 65 per cent in five years and the cost of basic food rising by’ 35 per cent. He said it was stereotyping to say those on low incomes were using money unwisely, saying there were many reasons why people found themselves in crisis.

Chris Mould said:

“He says there is no need for food banks; I am astonished by his assertion. What does he know? Where is his evidence? More than 10,000 front-line professionals, week in week out, are referring people they are trying to help to food banks.  They are seeing people from Cornwall to Inverness, York to Liverpool, and in increasing numbers they are referring people to food banks.  I am talking from an evidence-base of 10,000 care professionals who would argue with him. It is astonishing he would make an assertion like that.”

food bank

Mr Mould said nobody suggested people should not be distressed or outraged by unnecessary hunger elsewhere in the world, but said:

“It is clear that people in the UK who we meet have been going without meals when they arrive at food banks. They are going to bed hungry too. We are one of the richest countries in the world, but one of the most unequal in terms of income distribution in Europe.”

I found it amazing in this period of recession where most weeks there are major news articles on increases in poverty in the UK that a local politician would go as far to state there is no need for food banks.  As someone who has worked with young people and families for nearly a decade, I’ve helped them access food banks many times – they are incredibly valuable local tools.

What do you think?  Was Councillor Steward right to say we don’t need food banks?

———————– UPDATE ———————–

The York Press are now reporting that:

The York councillor who sparked an angry backlash by saying food banks were not needed has said he will visit one to see how they work.

Chris Steward, chairman of York Conservatives and councillor for Rural West York, made the offer after he came under fire for comments revealed in The Press on Thursday. Coun Steward claimed there was no real poverty in the UK.

He has since said on twitter that he would be happy to visit a food bank to work a shift.

York Labour councillor Dafydd Williams also yesterday invited Coun Steward to visit the York food bank at Gateway Church in Acomb, and called the councillor’s comments “ill-informed”. Coun Steward declined to add to his comments on twitter when contacted by The Press.