Young People’s Activities

While the reasons for drug and alcohol use and abuse are as varied as the drugs themselves, one often-cited opinion is that young people are tempted into a world of drugs and alcohol abuse due to boredom, a lack of direction or an absence of activities and friends that provide an “alternative” opportunity.

If, as a parent, carer, family member, religious leader or teacher, you are concerned about a young person (under the age of 18), you may wish to consider encouraging him or her to join one or more of the following activities in order to provide a means for them to make new friends, learn new skills and generally acquire habits and a lifestyle that make drugs and alcohol less appealing. Of course, membership of these groups does not guarantee the young person will not experiment with, or use, addictive substances, but current thinking certainly suggests it will, hopefully, be less likely.

Older teenagers or twenty-somethings may want to consider leadership positions within some of these organisations. Different age and other criteria apply, please contact the individual organisations for more information.


Activities In and Around Bexley Borough

Cadets

Cadet forces include the Army, Air Cadets, Sea Cadets, St John’s Ambulance and police. Intended for young people aged from around 12 – 19 (although each force differs slightly), Cadets gives young people an opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and master tasks that they may otherwise not be able to achieve. From the first major camp with the Army cadets to sailing or canoeing with the Sea Cadets there is a serious fun factor, combined with structure, discipline and the setting and achieving of person and team goals.

Fiona, 16, from Erith says: “I go to Cadets and really enjoy it. It’s good because it give you a whole new group of friends and its great for your social life. It is also fun and you can work toward a B-tech, do Duke of Edinburgh, go flying, camps and shooting and there are lots of opportunities to do something fun and different.”

To find out more about:

Army Cadets www.armycadets.com

Air Cadets www.aircadets.org

Sea Cadets seacadets.ms-sc.org

St John’s Ambulance Cadets www.sja.org.uk

The Met Police Cadets www.met.police.uk/cadets


Duke of Edinburgh

The London Borough of Bexley is a recognised operating authority for the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) award. Suitable for young people aged 14-25, “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an exciting and challenging program of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people. It encourages you to widen your interests, get involved in the community, and broaden your horizons.” DoE helps young people to make new friends, have fun, set and achieve goals and improve social skills and personal development.

Ross, 16, from Bexleyheath says: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award allows people to broaden their surroundings and interests by taking part in new sports and activities that they would not have otherwise tried. Whilst undertaking these activities, it allows people to form new friendships and develop existing friendships in a fun, safe environment. For me, the Award has taught me how to be committed to certain events, such as helping out at a Scout group every Wednesday after school, and to want to continue activities that I was already taking, such as playing golf and scrapbooking. And it looks great on my CV!”

To find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh Award within Bexley, contact the Awards Team at:

Welling Youth Centre
Lovel Avenue
Welling
DA16 3JQ
Tel: 020 8855 4046 ext.204 / 203
Fax: 020 8856 7527

Email: dukeofedinburgh@bexley.gov.uk or

www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2549


Girlguiding UK

Guiding includes Rainbows, Brownies and Guides as well as a Senior Section. Aimed at young girls from the age of five to young women of 25, Guiding appeals to everyone, with activities as diverse as abseiling to community projects and international travel. The focus is to provide opportunities for girls and young women to be challenged, learn new skills and acquire self respect.

More details about Girlguiding UK can be found on their website www.girlguiding.org.uk


Orienteering

According to the British Orienteering website, “Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport that exercises both the mind and the body. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.”

Ideal for families and young people of all ages, for more information about the local club based in Dartford, go to: www.dfok.co.uk or visit the British Orienteering main pages for details of other clubs and events.


Scouts

Once the domain of little boys and young men, Scouts now include girls and young women from the age of six to 25. They offer a diverse and exciting program of activities and events with rock climbing, archery and camping settled happily alongside the more creative circus skills, sculpture or even photography.

As with Girlguiding, there are a number of groups to suit the various age groups starting with Beavers then progressing to Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and finally Network.

Anne R is a Cub Scout Leader for the 1st East Wickham (St.Michaels) Group, she says: “I first started helping out when my sons started at Cubs – first as helper, then a few years later into uniform and then Akela (Cub Scout Leader). I have been doing this now for 15 years, I hope what our leaders do is to help see the advantages of friendship, fun, challenges and adventure all in an evening meeting.

We arrange other activites outside the meetings such as going to the circus; 96 Beavers, Cubs, parents with siblings and some Scouts all attended. We also organise Cub Camp, Family camp and days out as well as activities in the district with other Cub groups which include quizzes, football, sports days and even a Pack Challenge at Woodlands Farm.

What would I be doing if I wasn’t doing all this ? Probably nothing! Scouting has taken over my life; my calender is full of scouting activities and I have met so many people from all walks of life, and countries, I just hope my little input contributes to helping our Cubs grow into well-adjusted adults, ready to put something back into their community.”

To contact the Scouts and find out more about the local “packs”, go to

www.scouts.org.uk


Sports

There are a huge number of sporting activities taking place in and around the borough at any given time. From rugby clubs, hockey and football teams to squash, swimming and tennis, to name but a few, the opportunity to participate in some sort of sport activity is readily available. Bexley Council leisure services have extensive lists of what is available either at clubs or via council facilities, such as local pools, for example. Participation in some events may be free or subsidised according to means and it is always worth investigating what is open to you and your family. Participation in sports promotes a healthy body and mind and encourages team participation, self esteem and the satisfaction of mastering new skills.

For further information, talk to your GP or Health Visitor or go to

www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=851


Thamesmead Youth Awareness Program

“Thamesmead YAP offers diversionary and outreach work with young people under 25 years old. This includes Audio X which is a PC based recording studio where young people can record their own music, after schools clubs with homework support, PlayStation, arts and crafts etc. For those who are job seeking Thamesmead YAP can also offer advice on CVs and work with individuals on mock interviews. Advice on substance misuse for young people is also on offer.”

Contact Them:

c/o Gallions Housing Association
Harrow Manor Way
London
SE2 9XH

Tel: 020 8311 511