Community Youth Project provides young people with the time and space to make friends, learn in new ways and develop their talents through participating as Young Leaders and active citizens within their communities, we aim to offer an extensive empowerment programme. Our empowerment programme provides young people with information, projects and activities such as par taking in adventurous activities, workshops and decision making. Young people have the opportunity to become a Young Leader and enrol on our funded courses. We provide information on services and opportunities for young people as well as listening to their views on issues that impact on their lives. Our mission is to manage, implement and coordinate the Positive for Youth Policy and to promote and safeguard the interests of young people. We aim to instil the confidence, self-esteem and life skills necessary to avoid NEET categorisation, welfare dependency and crime.
Community Youth Project (then known as Bishops Green Youth Project) was established as a registered charity in 2002 to work in Bishops Green, a cluster of geographically and socially isolated housing estates close to the Hampshire/West Berks border. We quickly saw a reduction in the crime and anti-social behaviour that were a significant problem at Bishops Green at that time.
Over the years working in partnership with Bishops Green Community Association, police, community wardens, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and both Sovereign and Sentinel Housing Associations, we successfully tackled the persistent offenders who were the cause of anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse and nuisance. Removing these negative influences from congregating night after night in the central open space had a hugely positive impact on the community.
In 2009 we were asked by our biggest funder, Greenham Trust, to expand our work into the nearby Nightingales Estate in Newbury, West Berks.
In 2012 Greenham Trust completed a major refurbishment of Greenham Community Centre. Community Youth Project agreed to take over management of the centre. A community fun day was planned to celebrate the reopening of the Community Centre with over 400 people attending.
In 2017 Trustees decided to cease our activities in Bishops Green. Bishops Green is no longer regarded by many potential funders as a location of relative deprivation deserving of their support. This is powerful evidence of CYP’s success there, because since 2002 when CYP was established there, petty crime, anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse have all vastly diminished. That improvement, which the police, local authorities and housing associations all acknowledge to be the result of CYP’s work, is now embedded and the local community is determined to maintain it.
In 2019 CYP appointed a new Youth worker and Centre Manager based in Greenham Community Centre, who took over from CYP’s founder after 20 years of work. CYP decided to no longer base the work around Greenham Estate but to support all young people of Newbury who feel they will benefit from accessing our provisions. CYP is working closely with various agencies such as Police, Local and National charities (offering funding or/ and youth support), Sovereign Housing ,local parishes and West Berkshire council to provide the best opportunities to young people with the hope to reduce anti-sociable behaviour and crime in the area, but also offering support to not only disadvantaged young people but young people from various backgrounds and needs.