Cube Housing Association

Wyndford Youth Research Project

What were they trying to achieve?
Cube Housing Association has a large number of houses and flats within the Broomhill, Gorget and Wyndford areas of Glasgow.  Its Area Committees identified a need to provide better services to young people, but didn't know the sorts of services that young people would like and would use.  The Association also wanted more young people to be more involved in the organisation and needed to find a way of contacting young people.

How did they go about it?
M/8 Creative Design held workshops in local schools, youth groups and support networks aimed to record the hopes and aspirations of the young residents, their perception of crime, map their spiritual, visual and social awareness and assess the effect the social and physical nature of the estate has on the young residents' development.  The workshops began with a debate.  The groups were divided into two opposing sides; one pro-Wyndford and one anti-Wyndford.  Both groups were shown photographs of the estate and asked to discuss the positives and negatives of each image.  The debate then moved on to crime thresholds, career aspirations and role models, each represented by images projected into the room.  The participants were then asked to mark-up a map of the estate with their comments, criticisms, areas of happiness, sadness, fear and areas for future development.  The comments collected within this stage of the workshop informed the layout and presentation of a board game.

Two young people agreed to be peer researchers and they were paid for their time.  They assisted streetworkers from Glasgow City Council Youth Services.  The North Maryhill Youth Project coordinated the streetwork side of the research.  The streetwork aimed to discover what people liked and disliked about the area and what they wanted to see happen in the future.  A variety of methods were used to collate views.  For example, a football match was organised during which researchers conversed with the young people to gain insight into the life of a young person growing up on the estate.  During other sessions they asked the young people to write what they would like to see happen/change in Wyndford on sticky notes.  Sticky dots with smiley/sad faces were also used on maps to discover where young people like to hang about and feel safe.  Most of the 75 contacts made were made with young men. 

What did they learn?
The workshops indicated that there are mixed opinions within the Wyndford estate with regards to how one succeeds in life and what factors contribute to one's ability to succeed.  However, there was on underlying common belief - in order to succeed (personally, professionally and financially) one must leave the Wyndford Estate.  Young people felt that the area let them down and that they were at times ashamed to say they were from Wyndford.  In general, young people wanted a decent car and house and a reasonable job with the potential of a career path and a successful family life.  The main complaints were the same as the older population of the estate, the perceived lack of upgrading to the physical stock and the drugs problems.  There was a genuine sense that given the correct tools, and some guarenteed outcome, that young people would happily be more active in the community.

What difference did it make?
As a result of this research Cube Housing Association established the North Maryhill Youth Project in order to try and ensure that young people are catered for in the community and become more involved.  The North Maryhill Youth Project developed an Action Plan based on the research.  The research improved the Association's understanding of how to include young people and incorporate this into wider action activity.  Depending on local circumstances the lessons learned on research methods will be adapted to work within new areas as well.

The board game 'Game of Wyndford Life' and a website were developed as tools for spreading the findings and conclusions of this report to a wider audience.  Youth agencies and other interested parties were informed of the research and the website and a flyer was delivered to all addresses in the Wyndford Estate.

On the website you can learn about the history of the estate, gain access to the latest news and information regarding clubs, activities and events and get in touch with Cube to leave your comments and suggestions.  By emailing the site, young residents can say exactly what they feel about the Wyndford and provide suggestions for how the estate can be improved.