Free wi-fi tops wish-list for youth in Norfolk town

Members of Phoenix Youth Initiative with supporters/funders. Picture: supplied by Bob Wright

Members of Phoenix Youth Initiative with supporters/funders. Picture: supplied by Bob Wright - Credit: Archant

A survey of young people in a Norfolk town found that free wi-fi was at the top of their wish-list.

A total of 566 people in the 15-24 age group in North Walsham were spoken to during February's survey.

They were asked about possible future places, activities and opportunities in the town.

The survey was carried out by the Phoenix Youth Initiative group of 15 volunteers, led by the North Walsham Youth Gardeners team.

And the group has now met supporters and potential funders, hosted by supporter Mal Gray, of Disc 'n' Dat shop in Market Street.

Those involved included North Norfolk district councillor (NNDC) Nigel Lloyd, Regenerate North Walsham community interest company (CIC) director Bob Wright, Community Shop trustee Paul Oakes and North Walsham Play's Matt Smith.

Mr Wright said: 'Young people often attract negative headlines, so it is refreshing to see the obvious enthusiasm and ideas in this group.

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'They have not stood by and waited for action by others. They have taken the issues in their own hands in a positive way. There is little doubt that the 'places, activities and opportunities' for North Walsham's youth will be much improved in the next months and years.'

Outdoor activities were requested by many in the survey. North Walsham Play will be building an outdoor gym on the Memorial Park and is planning its next project at Trackside that will include a new skate park and a graffiti wall.

Free wi-fi was a near universal request. This will be installed in the next months as part of the NNDC-funded Market Town Initiatives project. This will cover the town centre and in a second phase will be extended to Memorial Park and Trackside.

An indoor social place to meet was also important to those who responded. The group is engaging with several local venues to see what may be possible and hope to be able to set up a pilot project.

Many respondents asked about volunteering in the town, and this is being addressed by the Think Carer Group, which is compiling a list of opportunities for all age groups.