In August 1983, a democratic non-party political pressure group was formed in Blantyre called Blantyre Youth Council (BYC), which aimed to represent young people’s views in the town and actively engage young people in campaigning for better facilities.
The youth council contributed over the next few years to developing youth involvement in the local volunteer centre at Logan Street along with the community council. BYC set up a youth enquiry service for young people and a claimant’s union, which advised young people and adults.
The youth council conducted a series of public meetings for youth throughout the town and conducted a survey amongst the town’s youth, which demonstrated a need for more and cheaper facilities for young people.
The full-time Youth Enquiry Service Base was in the Elizabeth Scott Centre (now Terminal One).
In 1984, as part of their “Working with young People” policy, Strathclyde Regional Council created Blantyre Youth Development Team against initial opposition from Blantyre Youth Council who saw no need for an officer/adult led organisation in a town with an active and successful youth council.
Blantyre Youth Council eventually agreed to disband however and support the youth development team on the principle that it was to be youth led. At an early meeting, the youth development team unanimously agreed to support a motion calling for the organisation to concentrate its energies on creating a youth centre in the town.
The YDT gained charity status in 1997 and created the Terminal One youth centre. It provides services to the young people of Blantyre and North Hamilton including music tuition, multimedia artistic tuition, recording studios, youth clubs, excursions and self-development programmes. South Lanarkshire Council, the Scottish Arts Council and the Blantyre/North Hamilton SIP fund it.
Whilst looking into the early days of Blantyre Youth Council, I found it difficult to find names of people involved. Hopefully readers can tell me more.
Partly from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
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