My name is Andrew Skinner and I am the current project coordinator of Sidewalk Youth Project, a local charity that has been working in the town for nearly 25 years. While I claim no expertise in being able to solve the issues facing our town, as an organisation, we can perhaps offer a unique insight into the community and the lives of young people. As a detached youth work project a key part of our role involves going out on the streets of Scarborough to engage with young people wherever they choose to meet. We seek to build trusting relationships and support young people in any way we can. As a result we hear firsthand about the challenges they face and the issues that are most relevant to them.
From our conversations in recent weeks one thing is clear to me and that is that young people are just as concerned about the future of Scarborough as anyone else. The young people I speak to share the same sense of frustration, the same longing for change and just like the rest of us they’re not quite sure how to achieve it.
When times get tough the temptation is to draw lines between us and them, between young and old, between employed and unemployed, locals and migrants etc. In reality these are false barriers and they do little but perpetuate the problems we face. What will make Scarborough a better place to live? Who knows, but we could begin by talking to one another again. We might just find that it is not our differences that are the real issue but the powers and structures that restrain us.
A proud Scarborough resident.
Sidewalk Youth project