The Warren is a truly unique project, offering a range of activities and services that are all free to young people in Hull.
Some history of The Warren
The Warren has operated in the city of Hull for more than 30 years. The Warren story began with the huge rise in youth unemployment of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the Humberside Youth Association (HYA) met with Hull City and Humberside County Councils to discuss what could be done to provide support and activities to young people who were out of work, living in poverty, homeless and/or facing other issues.
This Centre became The Warren, so-called because its original premises at 100 Alfred Gelder Street, with its confusing amount of rooms and corridors, resembled one. Coincidentally, when The Warren moved to its current location at Queens Gardens after a £220,000 partnership bid to improve facilities and equipment, it was clear that the name for the new but equally warren-like premises had to stay. In 1988, The Warren became independent of HYA and has been a registered charity in its own right ever since.
How we work
We’re not about telling young people what to do. Through conversation, we aim to build an environment of mutual respect and trust. We encourage users of The Warren to get involved in making decisions about what The Warren does. Through this, we hope to equip young people with increasing confidence and skills, so they can begin to apply these skills in taking control of their own lives, where circumstances allow.
The Warren has a way of working with people, a philosophy that is up held by everyone, it is there to help build a safe and welcoming environment so all young people can thrive and unleash their full potential. It is displayed around the building as “The Warren – How we Work”. This is it:
The Warren works because of the support we give each other and the commitment we have to our way of working.
This is your centre, please take responsibility for your actions and the use of its resources.
- Everyone is entitled to respect as an individual and the Warren is actively against all forms of discrimination, such as racism, sexism and homophobia.
- We accept people for who they are; we are not interested in judging or labelling anyone.
- Drugs and alcohol are not allowed in the building.
- Violence or any other form of intimidation is totally unacceptable.
- The Warren is a neutral territory, that is, everyone has equal rights, and can be expected to be treated with tolerance.
- Everyone has the right of access to our activities and can choose to be involved in our decision making process such as The Thing (The Warren’s weekly Parliament).
If you would like an explanation of any other points above please do not hesitate to contact us.
Empowerment and ‘The Thing’
We strongly believe in empowerment, and this concept – of being able to make decisions about the things that affect you, and taking responsibility for these decisions – is at the heart of everything we do. Young people at The Warren make the decisions about the direction of the project. Every Wednesday at 4pm is when ‘The Thing’ takes place, which is The Warren’s weekly parliament, where young people hold discussions and vote on a wide range of issues and policies. It also covers a number of health and learning issues, through information sharing and group activities. The Thing is open to all young people. While staff can speak, only young people can vote.
The Warren Empowerment Policy
A brief summary of The Warrens Empowerment Policy.
1) At The Warren, empowerment is about facilitating each young person to have control over their own lives by developing the skills, knowledge and information so that they can make their own informed choices.
2) We aim in all of our activities and services to create processes to maximise the involvement of young people and that they should make the decisions about how the agency works and develops.
3) We recognise the inequalities of power and resources in our society and will actively support all young people who wish to join together to address such matters.
4) We understand that our attempt to develop empowerment is an ongoing, often contradictory and, at times, conflicting process; but, whatever the struggles, our core values of supporting young people to have control over their own lives informs all debates and actions.
If you are interested in finding out more, you can find a full copy of the full chapter here. Warren Empowerment Chapter