The PYC Service sits within Portsmouth City Council’s Housing, Neighbourhood and Buildings Directorate. Our locality based provision is supported by additional council funding and grants which enable us to offer open access services to all City residents.
PYC manages four community centres; provides six staffed adventure playgrounds and four youth clubs across the city and runs three additional youth projects. We also administer the HAF programme on behalf of the Children’s, Families and Education Directorate.
Play and Youth spaces support from early childhood in to adulthood, providing safe recreational spaces which are also informal educational environments, where children and young people are supported with their mental health and wellbeing.
Our staff receive specialist training in safeguarding and restorative practice, and in supporting children, young people and their families.
We run workshops in areas that impact children and young people, such as domestic abuse; healthy relationships; knife crime and exploitation; and eating healthily; thereby contributing as an early intervention service, reducing anti-social behaviour, risk of harm and improving life chances.
The objective of the adventure playgrounds is to offer ‘freely chosen play’ in adherence to Article 31 of the UN convention on the rights of the child to engage in play and recreational activity and participate freely in cultural life.
Youth work offers young people safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people.
Through offering additional programmes and activities and opportunities to get involved, we ensure that children and young people develop an awareness of the wealth of opportunity in the city to participate in leisure and cultural activities.
As an informal environment community centres can help break down barriers between different community groups and build trust.
Contributing towards the vision of a city rich in culture and creativity through the opportunities they provide to residents they also contribute directly towards mental and physical wellbeing (healthy and happy city).
With a robust hiring policy and safeguarding checks completed, spaces can be hired at reasonable rates. Hirers offer a range of activities, such as boxing; craft; u3a; and specialist wellbeing and support activities and group meetings.
By ensuring that children and young people’s and adult’s voices are included in service design and consultations city-wide we aim to develop a community who recognise the importance of sharing their views and shaping their communities.
PYC works in collaboration with partners across sectors, delivering play, youth and community activities, and also works with partners such as local schools, libraries, museums, faith groups, youth justice teams, young carers, children’s social care and the police.
HAF is a great example of collaborative working and we are very proud of what we, as a city, are achieving for our children and young people.