[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Children just want to chill out
boys playing football
Children say they like the sense of independence
Children say they would rather be at a friend's house or on the streets or just at home than taking part in organised activities during the summer holiday.

They look forward to "being with friends" and "just hanging around".

The least popular haunts would be youth clubs - but they are all in favour of "chill out rooms".

These are among the findings of a survey of more than 2,000 seven to 15 year olds across the UK carried out last month by Save the Children and British Gas.

BEST PLACES TO BE
Friend's house: 51%
At home: 38%
The street: 38%
Leisure/sports centres: 20%
Youth clubs: 10%
What they valued most was being with their friends and having the freedom to do what they wanted, away from adults.

Save the Children says policy makers should aim to reflect that sense of independence when providing facilities aimed at youngsters.

HANGING AROUND: DISLIKES
Nothing to do: 36%
Gangs: 34%
Too many drugs/drunks: 34%
Too much traffic: 24%
No money: 23%
The survey suggests the children themselves are open to consultation. Half of the younger boys, in particular, felt they did have the power to improve things.

But young people clearly also find "the street" could be a threatening or at least unpleasant place in terms of gangs, drugs and traffic.

They mentioned a range of things they would like to see in their local areas.

Some of the most common requests were for football pitches, swimming pools closer to where they lived, skateboarding parks and bike tracks, and safe places to hang out without being hassled by adults.




SEE ALSO:
Children clock speeding drivers
15 Jul 03  |  Staffordshire
Blunkett targets yob culture
12 Mar 03  |  Politics
Give kids a say, Unicef urges
11 Dec 02  |  Americas


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific