‘Youth Options Day’ was a hit with young people aged twelve and over who attended the free event at Castle Park today. Local sporting organisations and education providers offered interactive sport, music, food and art taster sessions, as well as information on careers in these industries.
The event launches ‘Youth Options Year’ and is the first in a series of events, activities and workshops taking place for young people in the city over the next twelve months supporting them to engage with employers and training providers and take up opportunities with confidence.
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor for Communities at Bristol City Council, explains:
“Today’s event is a fantastic initiative. Bristol has lots of opportunities for young people and we want to make sure they can be accessed by everyone, regardless of where in the city they live. We need to all work together to build young people’s aspirations and help them succeed.
“I’d like to thank all the people and organisations that have made the event possible, including the Police and Crime Commissioner, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the Safer Options Team and Cllr Shah” she said.
Bristol’s Neighbourhoods and Partnerships Superintendent, Andy Bennett said:
“We’re really proud to be working alongside our colleagues in Bristol City Council, as well as with sporting organisations from across the city, to support young people to make safe and healthy choices and to show them what a fantastic range of options Bristol has to offer them.
“The event has been put on by Safer Options, a multi-agency team who are working together to safeguard and protect young people who may be at risk of criminal exploitation. The team was established in April to work in the east and central areas of the city and should be expanding to cover the rest of Bristol thanks to new money from the Home Office to establish Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) which will take a public health approach to tackling serious violence.
“It’s been brilliant to see so many young people engaged with the different activities and organisations here today and this event will be the springboard to a year of pop up events across the city, which will support young people who might not otherwise have had the guidance or steer to fulfil their potential.”
Bristol City Council in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has received £424,000 funding to tackle a rise in incidents of youth violence and child criminal exploitation in Bristol. The first Safer Options centre in Bristol has already been established with two more across the city to open in September.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens explains:
“This additional funding to go towards establishing more Safer Options centre in Bristol is an important step as part of longer term work to reduce the harm being caused by serious violence.
“We need to ensure that together we are capitalising on opportunity to identify vulnerability and intervene early to prevent the harm that violence causes to individuals, communities and society as a whole.”