Portfolio > Sector > Youth

Hastings Youth Matters

Hastings Youth Matters was a town wide conversation about what life is like for young people in the town.

It asked three key questions:

  • What are the issues for young people in Hastings (and the wider area) today?
  • In tackling these issues, what’s working well and where are the gaps?
  • What small steps can we take together to make a difference? What role might the arts play?

Culture Shift was commissioned to deliver the event by Theatre Centre, a company writing, producing and touring theatre for young people. The company was keen to be more aware of the pressing issues for young people and to understand better how their offer might evolve to meet these needs. The event was hosted by Ark Helenswood Academy and delivered in partnership with Hastings Borough Council.

The event brought together a wide variety of people working in youth, education, arts and health, and included young people from Hastings Youth Council and Ark Helenswood Academy. Staged as a World Café, the event involved a series of conversations at tables, exploring the different questions, with people moving between tables for each discussion. Conversations were animated and significantly enhanced by the involvement of young people at each of the tables.

Many issues surfaced through the discussions. Connections were made, young people were listened to. In a climate where the structures and support for young people is constantly changing, this event served to introduce people, new programmes and initiatives. People valued the simple opportunity to meet each other and there are plans to build on this in Hastings.











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It was a great event and I look forward to contacting many of the representatives in the coming week.

Young Carers

We thought the morning was really good and met some really good contacts.

Eggtooth project

Other comments:

We need more mechanisms to let young people express their opinions.


Drama made me feel more like myself than anything else.


Young people need to have a voice that is not necessarily through a questionnaire!


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