Megan, Queen's Square | September 26, 2018
“A youth friendly community is one that actively supports and provides opportunities for the growth and development of youth (ages 13 to 19) through play.” – Play Works, Partnership for Active and Engaged Youth
Like many other communities, Cambridge recently applied to the Play Works Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program by submitting documentations which local youth service providers felt met the 16 required criteria:
- Youth have options for play.
- Youth are formally connected community-wide.
- Facilities are dedicated to youth play.
- It is easy for youth to find information about play activities in the community.
- The community supports public youth events.
- The community celebrates and recognizes youth.
- The community commits funding for youth play.
- The community supports positive youth development.
- The community supports youth volunteerism and leadership development.
- The community has effective partnerships that support youth play.
- Youth activism and advocacy for play is nurtured.
- Youth feel valued by their community.
- Youth can get to the play programs that are offered.
- Schools support the youth friendly approach.
- Adults champion the cause for youth play.
- Play is inclusive.
Out of these 16, Cambridge was deemed to have met 15 of the standards. As a result, Cambridge has been designated as a Gold Youth Friendly Community by Play Works! We join dozens of other cities, towns, first nations groups, counties, and townships in receiving a Youth Friendly Community title.
That said, there is always room for improvement! From our city-wide submission, the criteria applied for which the Review Team felt could be strengthened was "Youth activism and advocacy for play is nurtured". This is something that Cambridge youth service providers will be sure to work on.
Our Cambridge Youth Friendly Committee attended the Youth Friendly Community Recognition Reception, Ceremony and Gala Banquet on April 17 to accept this amazing designation. Congratulations to Cambridge for being youth friendly!