5 minutes with Harriet

Harriet Jackson, youth worker, talking to two young childrenWe caught up with Harriet Jackson, volunteer youth group leader at the Buckingham Park Youth Group in Aylesbury to find out about the project and how she helps young people.

Why did you set up the youth group?

It was set up in 2011 because there was nothing for the young people to do in Buckingham Park, a new development at the time.

Why did you become a youth group leader?

I had several conversations with the Police about young people needing a place to ‘hang out’. They said there was no-one to do it, so I offered myself. I then met with the Buckingham Park Resident Association, the council and local housing associations to gain their support, and then it went from there.

What is the Buckingham Park Youth Group?

We run weekly junior and senior sessions in term time for children in the school years 3 – 11. We work with about 40 young people at the sessions. Some of them have become young leaders who volunteer at the junior sessions. We also offer training to adult volunteers and young leaders.

What are the joys and challenges of being a youth leader?

All the volunteers and I are here to make sure the young people really enjoy themselves. I’m so proud of the young people. They’ve become more mature, more aware of other people’s needs and their own strengths, and been able to overcome their own challenges. When I see the change in the young people, I wish we could offer more. But we need more volunteers, more parent involvement and more funding.

To get involved in Buckingham Park Youth Group, contact Harriet on 07925 104627. For more details on our community projects visit the Catalyst Gateway section of our website.