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Kendal Youth Zone Plans to Expand Their Programme to Gaming & More

A funding application has been proposed for a gaming suite in Kendal. The gaming project is part of a bigger programme for KYZ, who are looking to expand activities and spaces for young people who use their service.

Youth workers including Adam Edwards, the Youth Lead for Kendal Youth Zone (KYZ), are behind the proposal.

Adam Edwards enjoying some outdoor activity with the youths from Kendal Youth Zone

Adam from Kendal has been working for KYZ for over 3 years now.

During that time his team has created many activities for young people that access their service.

The activities include: outdoor cinema screenings, a partnership with Outward Bound an outdoor learning charity, DJing events and youth club nights.

An outdoor cinema event that was held by Kendal Youth Zone

Adam thought up the concept for Kendal Gaming out of his own passion for gaming and the introduction of Esports to the Commonwealth games: “Once I had this concept in mind it was important to me that it used local services such as the library.”

Adam expressed that having the gaming suite based in the library would be a special place. It would offer young people the options of books written about gaming within the proposed suite.

KGS caption: The concept design for Kendal gaming

One of the young people Adam works with felt that there was nothing outside of the youth zone for young people:

“There wasn’t any other spaces before KYZ. The pandemic made things worse because we were forced to isolate and the only socialising we had was through our phones on the internet”

Due to the lack of spaces, KYZ plan to expand spaces and create new activities for young people who use their service.

They are currently working with the Kepplewray Outdoor Centre, Kendal Climbing Wall and Kendal Library.

Kendal Youth Zone members about to go canoeing as part of Kepplewray Centre activities

Adam told us that an important element to youth work now is about management of youths mental health:

“Much of the support the youths needed was stripped away during the pandemic and post-pandemic it never returned”

Speaking on his own personal experience Adam told us about how his children lacked support after a devastating loss:

“I lost a child at two days old and my two older kids who are preteens had a very limited amount of service to support them and in some cases long waiting lists as the services were oversubscribed”.

Adam added: “KYZ provides a safe space for youths to explore their emotions and in some cases there is no cure or medication available to tackle them but the activities make it so that they have fun whilst being supported”

Young people enjoying some archery

KYZ was designed to address the needs of Kendal and it’s adjoining communities.

The most important thing in mind is free access to youth services.

It is also vital for young people to lead the projects alongside people like Adam, with his oversight and experience, so that they can deliver for Kendal and the wider area.

Youths dancing at one of Kendal Youth Zones events

Adam feels it’s time the community looked after itself:

“We need more volunteers so that the activities and opportunities are open and reaching all youths”

If you want to support the KYZ funding application or join KYZ you can get in touch with them here.

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