We were appointed by Hampshire County Council along with Mark Drury of SPUD (www.spudgroup.org.uk) to create and facilitate a series of workshops with school children in Basingstoke. 28 pupils from five primary, two secondary and one special school took part in 3 x 3 hour workshops, supported by their teachers. The workshops ended with a final presentation to key decision makers locally as well as to the professional project team.
The youngsters involved made some very clear and articulate comments that were both thoughtful and sensitive. They were not overly-ambitious in their suggestions and many of their comments focused on creating a sense of community. Safety, appearance and walkability were all key components in creating a place that they felt they could be proud of, and would be somewhere they would want to live. Comments which arose frequently were around green spaces and unprogrammed spaces, where a variety of activities could happen. There was also a strong message around shared use of civic spaces and places of worship.
Further work with the young people is anticipated in the next few months.