BLEND’s Jamie Wright explains the group vision and hopes Bude will help the youngsters who have been involved in many community events such as beach cleans, and tree planting sessions:
The power and hope that children bring is addictive.They work with what they are given. They know they are not in a position to get what they need. So they happily accept whatever they can get. Hours of fun can be taken with a rope and a little imagination.This is what we need to retain. Imagination.We have a vision for the youth of Bude. We have been working tirelessly for over 2 years now, giving the youth of Bude a place they can go to every Tuesday night.A place that is not sport orientated nor competitively driven, just somewhere where they will not be judged or moved along.Once a week for 2 hours, we set up and host BLEND youth collective. The Oceans community centre have been our biggest supporters for all of this time. Letting us use their space and kitchen to give a vast range of opportunities to the young Blenders has been wonderful.Unfortunately we are at a cross roads.The Oceans building is being leased out, meaning the room we use will be permanently put to good use. Our application for use of THE VENUE building has been turned down, leaving us with weeks to find another temporary home for the collective.I write ‘temporary’ as the collectives ideas are vast and exciting, not only shaping the future of the youth of Bude for years to come, but building a model for youth support work, that through funding cuts is now sadly lacking across the country.There are many important issues that are felt by others to be top priority, preserving the historic, creating affordable housing or being greener.But you have to ask yourself. Who are we preserving Bude’s history for? Who are we building housing for? Who will benefit from all our efforts to keep the beaches clean? Who will continue to keep Bude green when we are too old to do so?For too long have the youth of Bude been left to drift, stopping briefly, to only then be moved along. So, bored they turn to frowned upon stimuli to keep themselves entertained.It is up to us, our council, our prominent figures to safeguard the future of the town youth.We fall far behind all national standards in areas of youth support. The schools are doing a sterling job of keeping their heads above water, but why is youth provision not deemed as important as plastics? Why can people not see that hope will not keep young people here and that the lack of amenities for them is the reason behind the escalating substance abuse issues?With the ever-expanding housing market around this wonderful corner of Cornwall, there should be an expanding infrastructure. For every house built you can add a minimum of 2 children. Primary schools are bursting at the seams.We can not leave it until it’s too late, we can not sweep it under the carpet because we do not see it as necessary or worse, lucrative.We need to focus our effort firmly on the future, not ours, theirs. For as the cliche says and as we strongly believe, children are the future, so give them what they need and let them lead the way.So. This is a plea. A call out in a time of need. A critical point we can not turn the page on.WE NEED A ROOM AND WE NEED IT SOON.WE NEED A FUTURE AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT THEIRS.If you can help, or you know someone that can, please get in touch.