Islanders make £50,000 wishlist

Bournemouth Echo: RESEARCH: Young advisors Richard Sharpe and Dan Peacock carry out a survey at the Brackenbury Centre, Portland. RESEARCH: Young advisors Richard Sharpe and Dan Peacock carry out a survey at the Brackenbury Centre, Portland.

YOUNG advisors from Wey- mouth and Portland spent seven hours asking members of the public how £50,000 could best be spent to improve life on the island.

They discovered that measures to combat anti-social behaviour and unemployment, projects to keep young people busy and a cinema were top of residents’ wish lists.

Teenagers Richard Sharpe, Dan Peacock, Abbie Cookson, Demi Graham, Elle Gray and Katie Knowles were commissioned by Synergy Housing to do the research.

The young advisors, who operate from the drop-in centre at Easton can be hired by local businesses as trouble shooters to ‘youth-proof’ documents and websites and carry out consultation work.

They used a questionnaire on behalf of Synergy Housing and spoke to 125 members of the public before reporting their findings.

The housing provider brought in the young advisors to consult with members of the island community after it committed to invest £50,000 into Portland in order to improve the quality of life for their residents.

Young advisor Katie Knowles, of Wyke Regis, said: “We spoke a great deal with staff members at Synergy Housing to understand the background and the history of their toolkit and the Portland dashboard so that we had a thorough understanding when we took this out onto the streets of Portland.”

Drop-in youth centre co-ordinator Kate Chandler praised the young advisors for their dedication.

She said: “They spent seven hours in targeted locations on behalf of Synergy Housing, explaining the toolkit funding to members of the public. They then completed a report outlining their findings and recommendations and presented this to Synergy Housing.

“They found out that the £50,000 should be spent on targeting anti-social behaviour and projects for young people. The public also wanted a cinema or film club.

“Since then, Synergy has funded artists from London to come down and run a bicycle-powered cinema this half term.”

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