PLANS to create a youth council on one of East Dorset’s most deprived estates are underway.

East Dorset District Council is calling for youth arts or development-focused organisations or individuals to set up a new group at the Heatherlands estate in Ferndown.

The aim of the initiative will be to strengthen ties between the council and young people living in Heatherlands, and to set up creative and innovative events at the estate’s community centre to engage people aged 11 to 18 years old.

Tracy Cooper, culture and young people strategy manager at East Dorset District Council, said: “The purpose of this commission is to set up a proposed youth council to enable the young people at Heatherlands to voice their needs and plan how they will make a difference in their local area.

“It will enable the young people to come up with a strategy to address the issues they want |to tackle and act as a consultative group for councils to work |with on youth and community issues.

“We are looking for an experienced individual or organisation to actively work with the young people to create and then support the youth council.”

John Hanrahan, who manages the community centre and runs a ju-jitsu club for young people there, said: “We’ve been made aware of the youth council and we’re waiting to meet with Tracy about it.

“I think anything that creates a bit of a focus on Ferndown is great, so we’re just waiting to see how this will all go.

“The community centre is great value for money, and it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, so it could be a good idea to get the youngsters here involved with the council.”

Anyone interested in applying for this work should submit a written application by email to Tracy Cooper by the deadline of 3pm on Thursday, February 6, at For more information, visit