All copyright Russell Boyce


City Centre Youth Club hosts different youth groups throughout the week. The manager Brian Healey wants the centre to be a place where young people of all ages, sex and race can learn to express themselves to their peers and adults. He says, 'If a person is able to feel a sense of achievement through self-education and expression, then City Centre is working'. He also adds, 'City Centre should be measured by the achievements of individuals and not by the number of people who attend the different groups'.











Young People’s Theatre Company is run by Yvonne McGuiness and its intention is for the group 'to give effective expressive voice and status to the thoughts, feeling, experiences and culture of young people'. Yvonne adds, 'The group attracts many young people who are considered the so called alienated and disaffected youth throughout Peterborough'.




The Asian Cultural Centre is run by Ansar Ali and was set up to meet the needs of the large and growing Asian community in Peterborough. 'The Asian community has the right to carry out their traditions within Peterborough', he says. 'It is up to the people of Peterborough to find pleasure and not resentment in these activities'. The centre has two priorities; provide a base for activities for the Asian community and to offer a rich source of culture to those who are not Asian with events including food cooking and tasting, lectures by political and religious leaders and dance.





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Once Muslim girls reach a certain age they are no longer allowed to mix with boys. Mrs Hussain set up the Goulistan Girls Group as she feels 'girls and women often take second place to men and boys and face racism within the community'. Within the group the girls learn to read and write Urdu, and explore religious scriptures and learn functionally based skills like needlework and housekeeping.  She tries to make sure that everything is fun based and games of tag and cricket are common, but all boys are kept well away to maintain a sense of tranquility. Within the Asian community the GGG is sometimes viewed with suspicion with some families fearing that girls will not be brought up in a proper fashion with cultural and religious boundaries being crossed.








There are many small bands that spring up and fade away as people go through their teens and early twenties. Many of these bands in Peterborough practice at the Guildhall in central Peterborough. The bands each told me how they'd like to be photogaphed to project their own image.

The Detours - 'In Them Days"

I’m looking out of my window,
 At the place where we used to play,
Where we’d sit and talk,
And dream of better days.
And I can see the bus shelter,
Where we once had wrote our names,
‘Cos we’d live forever,
For each other – we were mates,
We’d live forever,
For each other – in them days.



The Uprising - “Slavery”

Blood stained products line supermarket shelves,
But you’re still blind to notice what goes on.
They suffer and they die to support our lifestyle.
The Governments don’t care, they wear plastic smiles.
Capitalism flourishes it supports slavery,
Profit is made, nothing stands in its way.
Treated like shit and denied human rights,
Out of desperation they will fight to stay alive.



The Youth Training Scheme was set up by government to bridge the gap for young people between school and employment.  Amanda Fields gets paid £27.30 for a 37.5 hour-long week. She says 'beggars can’t be choosers'. The government pays the wage, not the company, with critics of the scheme accusing the Government of setting up cheap labour programme to manipulate unemployment figures for young people.



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'No experience – no job. No job – no experience', is the vicious circle of youth unemployment that Amanda Hemingsly is try break with the council funded Westgate project. The centre provides a phone, a typewriter, access to employment information, information about social security rights, a pool table, table tennis and badminton. According to Amanda what it most importantly provides is communication with other people who face the same problem and a day centre for many of the young people who sleep at Ananta’s – a home for homeless young.




















Ananta’s is the place where the homeless young can sleep and is considered the last safety net before they are forced to sleep rough on the streets. Ananta’s is closed during the day so the residents spend the day roaming the streets or at the Westgate project. These young people have no work and live a hand to mouth existence with social services.  The housing waiting list is long but slowly the lucky few are housed in bedsits – others continue to dream and wait for a place of their own to sleep. Once in this cycle of homelessness and unemployment it’s hard to break, as employers are fearful that these young people will fail to turn up for work as their home life is so erratic.










The Peterborough Youth Trust is a pilot scheme set up in 1985, which offers juvenile and crown courts an alternative to custodial sentences for young offenders, or for people who parents can no longer control their delinquent behaviour. The age range is between ten and 17 and many have come from a background of broken homes, poverty, poor housing; many have been in care. The aim is to integrate the offender at youth, hobby and sports clubs to help them break away from their delinquent sub-culture.  The hope is to develop a new pattern of non-offending, a daily routine and final integration back to school, with the help of specialist teachers. Many school-age offenders are serious truants. 'These teenagers do not need a brutal short, sharp, shock or detention', says one out-reach worker. 'They need to be re-integrated slowly to a non-offending environment through our work. That takes time and patience. Custody only further isolates people who already feel isolated.' Does PYT do any good? 'Yes, but the effect is not always immediately obvious.'


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