Finding their voice about a cause they care about took an unexpected turn for a group of young disabled college students in Warwickshire.
Too old for youth clubs, Victoria Park close to Royal Leamington Spa College is the place they meet and hangout.
United against the threat of having parts of the park made concrete, they worked as a collective to produce a listening campaign… and armed with questions, posters and mascots, the group approached park users to gather their views on the local authority’s proposed changes.
These views were fed back into the Neighbourhood Plan to represent different perspectives and will now potentially influence future decisions on protecting green spaces.
The unplanned result of gathering around this issue has been the opportunity to swap stories of feeling anxious at times in college common areas with the other students.
To combat this, the group had the idea of creating a buddy scheme for new intake to help them make friends and familiarise themselves with the facility.
So from ‘Green Places Not Car Park Spaces’ and the Activist Acorn has grown a group of young people with purpose, confidence, support and the knowledge that they have the power to make positive change happen.
We are celebrating this story about strengthening people as part of #25yearsofGrapevine this year and in the run up to our Impact Event in Coventry on 12 October!