The Youth and Community Centre is based in The Nightingales Estate, built in 1972 and originally named Greenham Court Estate. It was designed using the ‘Radburn’ layout, which followed the then current thinking about separation of cars and pedestrians, using a network of paths and alleys for getting around, and separating cars from their owners’ dwellings..
Unfortunately this has led to disused communal car parking areas, as car owners prefer to park their vehicles within sight of their homes and the use of the network of paths and alleyways crisscrossing the estate as hiding places and escape routes for perpetrators of criminal or anti-social behaviour, which has exacerbated the fear of crime amongst local residents.
Public areas have become run down, with litter, abandoned shopping trolleys, dog fouling and household dumping contribute to the general untidiness of the estate. The name of the area has become stigmatized and is regarded in Newbury as an area of high crime and deprivation. This stigma only adds to the sense of social isolation, disconnectedness and low esteem in the community.
In general the homes in the area are well liked, as they are a reasonable size and in good condition. The geographic location is also desirable because of the proximity to Newbury town centre. Some homes have gardens on steep gradients, which are difficult to maintain and many of the low level fences provide inadequate boundaries between public and private spaces and trap litter.
The Nightingales can be examined in terms of deprivation using the ‘Super Output Areas’ (SOA’s) issued by the Office of National Statistics. According to the results, the estate has the worst health, income (especially affecting children), employment, and education skills levels for the whole of West Berkshire. Crime levels are also high (7th in the county).
Community Youth Project began to work in the Nightingales and eventually expanded to the close proximity of its surrounding areas in 2009. Most recently in 2019 Community Youth Project began encouraging young people outside of these areas and within Newbury, the opportunity to attend and par take in all activities, support and provisions Community Youth Project has to offer; therefore being more inclusive to all young people from various backgrounds and needs.