Monday, October 09, 2006

Why I got involved with FreqOUT! - Steve Lau

Steve Lau is Westminster Youth Service's Service Manager, and he sits on the FreqOUT! Steering Group. We asked him a few questions about his invlovement with the project:

Why did you get involved with FreqOUT!?:
I carry a number of portfolios for the Youth Service, which include both the Arts and information Technology. I was therefore the natural link to the youth service when the concept of a wireless technologies/youth arts project was first put forward. Having said that, it has always been one of the more interesting projects to have come across my desk, simply because it lies ‘outside of the box’ for so much of the time.

What do you think it can offer to young people?:
So much, and perhaps best illustrated by what young people got out of FreqOut last year. What was very clear from last year’s presentation at the ICA was that the young people had had so much fun in the workshops. The Youth Service is about having fun. But equally there were some very important issues which were touched upon, issues which have a very real impact upon young people’s lives on a daily basis, whether issues of privacy and the introduction and use of CCTV, or society’s judgement of people on first impressions. I’ve no doubt that FreqOut offered young people the opportunity to learn about these and similar issues in a meaningful and fun way. Then there’s all the practical skills which young people acquired - mainly around information technology, but also some of the social skills of team work, of making a first impression count and so on.

The importance of your contribution to FreqOUT!:
I’m not sure this is entirely a question for me to answer. I can say I bring a professional youth work dimension to the management committee, with a strong focus on putting young people first, empowering them, education and safeguarding young people. I think these are important aspects of a strong management committee that needs to encompass robust technical, creative as well as educational elements.

What would you like people to know about WYS?:
Westminster Youth Service sits within the Lifelong Learning Directorate of the Children and Community Services Section of Westminster City Council. The Service is part of a wider package of Services aimed at young people, including Connexions, Positive Activities for Young People, Sports Development and the Play Service, all of these are services which we are working ever closer with. Our aim is to provide young people in Westminster with positive out of school activities that are fun and meaningful, and which contribute to our young people being healthy and safe, enjoying and achieving in life, making a positive contribution to society, and preparing them for a prosperous life.

You can find out more about the Westminster Youth Service at:

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