Membership drive at Leighton Buzzard teens' TACTIC centre after super In Bloom win
A teenage advice and information centre is using new tactics to boost its membership after a prestigious competition win set spirits high.
TACTIC, of Hockliffe Street, was delighted to win the Anglia In Bloom overall special award for the Best Young People’s Project (12-18 years), after its Youth Forum designed two beautiful murals to mark the centenary of World War One.
It is also keen to reassure residents about its latest attendance figures, after a Leighton-Linslade Town Council Cultural and Economic Services Committee report noted a decrease compared to the previous year, with 803 attending (May/June/July) in 2018 compared to 1,387 in 2017 (same period).
Tracey Quinn, TACTIC centre manager, said: “It’s the nature of any project with young people - we’re just going through a transformative stage. Our older, key group of 18-19 year olds have moved on to college or work, so every two years you get an ebb and flow and then a new lot come up.
“We will be doing assemblies in schools, updating our leaflet, using Instagram, and we are redesigning our website so it’s zappier and more young people friendly.”
TACTIC runs an informal drop-in after school, where youngsters can relax whilst information is on hand about a particular theme (such as bullying) on which there will be a quiz. It is also an opportunity to discuss any problems.
Additionally, the service offers one-to-one mentoring, sexual health support, counselling, employment advice and can also signpost youngsters to external agencies.
Meanwhile, its Youth Forum, which meets fortnightly, is busy preparing community events such as a Hallowe’en disco, and a senior citizens’ Christmas dinner.
Tracey added: “The mural boards were completed for display in a prime spot in the town centre on July 2.
“It is a great achievement by the young people and a community art display to be proud of.
“The local Leighton-Linslade In Bloom volunteers group approached TACTIC with the hope of getting more young people involved in their annual flower/garden displays and community gardens across the town.
“The youth forum decided the end of the World War One centenary in 2018 was a good way to look at ‘old and new’ elements of the Leighton-Linslade town’s event and could complement the flower displays.
“The group discussed dark and light and felt the 1918 war time was a dark, hard time for people with many deaths and the art needed to reflect this with the 2018 mural being more hopeful and bright looking to the future.”
The talented TACTIC members who took part in the mural project were: Adam Green,15, Georgia Crossingham, 17, Taylor Lapworth, 16, Rhiannon Pearson, 17, Sammi Hull, 19, Alisha Reynolds, 15, Tia Harrison 13, and Alice Page, 17.