We councillors are very conscious that the mental health and wellbeing of young people has suffered during the pandemic and its lockdowns. Some services and facilities were closed or in limited use. There was support online but it is not the same as face to face engagement.
We intend to resume Ludlow Young Health drop in sessions later in the year. But, post-Olympics, we also need to look at sporting facilities for young people in Ludlow. People should not have to drive 30 miles to access decent facilities.
Ludlow Young Health, supported by Ludlow Town Council, Ludlow Youth Partnership and the Mayor’s charity, will return later in the year. The project provides drop in sessions for young people, parents and carers and gives non-medical advice on wellbeing and emotional support. We’ll publish more on that in the next few weeks.
It was at a routine catchup meeting on youth matters with Councillors Tracey Huffer and Erica Garner and myself that we began a discussion about BMX and skateboarding. We knew that enthusiasm was the two sports was riding high after the brilliant successes at the Olympics. We decided to test the enthusiasm in Ludlow and posted a short comment on Facebook on Wednesday evening. The response has been huge with well over 100 supportive comments. Thread 1. Thread 2.
This morning, I spoke to Adam Green on BBC Radio Shropshire about our ideas. Recording.
Ideas? We are at the beginning on this. Among the suggestions are getting the BMX track on Gallows Bank back into use. Expanding the Wheeler Road skateboard facility. A new facility, perhaps at Linney Park (but flooding!).
Some improvements can be driven by enthusiasm and effort alone. But there will be a need for money. For that we will need to fundraise, bid for grants and seek donations and sponsorship from businesses. There is a hope that Sports England and the Lotto will have a post-Olympics round of grants.
We councillors are not sports people. Adam Green said he hoped that us councillors would be going out and testing the facilities ourselves. Yeah, with an air ambulance on standby, I retorted. But there are a lot of people, whether active in sport or not, in the Ludlow community who know more than us. One commentator online said one of the problems is all the form filling. We know how to that. (Maybe form filling will one day be an Olympic sport!)
As the moment we are talking to the residents with the hope of community champions emerging. Please contact us if you can help.