Survey of Young People

In 2018, the Town Council funded the Church Stretton Youth Council to send out a survey to pupils at the secondary school in Church Stretton. They received responses from 438 pupils, 110 of whom live in the Stretton’s area, which includes Church Stretton, Little Stretton, All Stretton and some neighbouring parishes.


This analysis reports on responses given by young people living in the Stretton, to questions in this survey relevant for the Stretton’s Community Led Plan including:  

  • What is the best thing about where they live?

  • What is the worst thing about where they live?

  • What organised activities do they participate in?

  • Where they meet friends and what they do?

  • What activities they might be interested in?

 

The young people’s answers to open questions in the survey frequently reflected common themes, sometimes more than one. The number of times a theme was mentioned was counted to generate the quantitative date for this analysis.

Best thing about where you live
Young People were asked to say what the best things was about where they live.

01-What young people mentioned liking.jp

106 of the 110 young people included in the sample gave an answer. The most common theme mentioned was related to enjoying the beautiful countryside and scenery surrounding them. Sixty young people made a comment on this theme.


Other common themes mentioned were living in peaceful surroundings, nice and friendly community, walking distance to facilities e.g. school/station/park/Carding Mill valley, the parks and having friends nearby.
Here are some of their comments:-

  • Hills, the small population, natural beauty

  • Beautiful views and scenery, nice people, no crime, able to do lots of exercise

  • Safe, park, less people, scenery

  • Close to school, loads of parks

  • Good hikes, park, mountain biking, woods

  • Subway and costa, park, reservoir

  • Countryside, library, swimming pool, parks friends nearby

  • Countryside, nice people and good hill for mountain biking

Worst thing about where you live

The young people were asked to say what the worst thing was about where they live.  87 of the 110 pupils replied to this question.
The most common theme mentioned was being bored and not having much to do. Thirty young people made a comment on this theme.

02-Common Theams.jpg

Here are some of their comments:

  • Potholes, pool closing, lack of children activities

  • No friends close by, not many shops nearby so always have to go to shrewsbury

  • Not close too close to much else, costs a lot to travel

  • Nothing to do indoors when rainy

  • Not many young people, not many places for teens to go

  • No good clothes shops, needs a primark and better facilities

  • Nothing to do for non-sporty people

  • Not many things for teenagers to go, boring

Organised Activities
The young people were asked about organised activities they participate in.


Uniformed Groups - 27 said they were a member of a uniformed group - mainly scouts (16) and cadets (8)


Sports Club - 57 said they were in a sport club. The most popular sports were football (16), Netball (8), Swimming (8), Water polo (8), Badminton (6), Martial Arts (6), Cricket (5), Hockey (5) and Tennis (5).


Dance/Drama - 17 were involved in dance/drama - mainly dance (14) and drama (3)


Musical Instrument - 38 play a musical instrument, some more than one. The most popular instruments were guitar (20) piano/keyboard (17) and drums (7).


38 young people were not participating in a sport, after school club, uniformed group or dance and drama.
Where they meet Friends

Where they meet Friends
The pupils were asked where they meet friends outside of school. The most common place mentioned was the parks with 42 young people mentioning this. It is possible that some of them are meeting in the park as they have nowhere else to meet friends outside of their homes.

03-Where we meet friends.jpg

Informal Activities
The pupils were asked what they did when they meet their friends. The most popular activity was to chat and talk to each other. Football, eating/drinking and biking were also popular.

04-Top Activities non-formal.jpg

The young people were asked to indicate which activities they might be interested in, taken from a list of activities. The most popular activities were a chill out room (72), Table tennis/pool/ games (62) and Film Nights (60)

Conclusion

  • In common with the full household survey, young people appreciate living in an area surrounded by beautiful countryside and in a quiet, peaceful and friendly community

  • Approximately 65% of the young people who responded are taking part in at least one organised activity outside of school.

  • Approximately 50% of young people are taking part in an organised sport. Football appears to the most popular sport.

  • However not all young people want to participate in sport and some young people would like to see more social activities for teenagers.

  • The Town Park is important as a place where young people enjoy meeting with their friends. However, there are not many places for young people to go if it is raining.

  • Young people would appreciate somewhere where they could meet with each other in an informal way. They also showed interest in being able to participate in table tennis/pool/games and film nights.

   

Following on from the survey
A Youth Council was established in 2018 with the support of Stretton Climate Care and the Town Council, in the hope of giving a more permanent voice to young people. Following the survey continuity issues, together with changes at the school, made operations problematic, and the Youth Council has become an environment-focussed group.


The Town Council is committed to funding follow-up action to the survey now that Shropshire Council has withdrawn all funding for open access youth provision, only funding six youth workers county-wide to focus on working with disaffected youngsters.


The Council has provided £550 funding for the Loft Arts youth drama group which started at Mayfair in the autumn of 2019. The group meets every Wednesday in the Activity Room at Mayfair, learning and practising drama skills, ready for performance. Students have responded enthusiastically to this new opportunity.


There have also been active discussions between the Town Council, Mayfair, St. Laurence Church and the Shropshire Youth Association with a view to re-starting a Youth Club. The Town Council has committed £5,000 in 2020/21 to fund a trained SYA youth worker, with some additional monies from Mayfair. Other sources of funding to help with running costs are being actively explored.

There were plans to recruit local adult helpers, to be trained by Shropshire Youth Association, with a view to starting the Youth Club on a Thursday evening in Mayfair early in the summer.


However, the lock-down has intervened and the plans have been put on hold, but they will be progressed as soon as circumstances permit.