Alex's bid to get teens' voices heard

ALEX Stewart is passionate about his generation - and making sure its voice is heard.Outspoken, confident when dealing with adults, and ready to debate with and listen to those in authority, this 14-year-old wants to make sure young people have an input into what is happening in Felixstowe and get the facilities they need.

By Richard Cornwell

ALEX Stewart is passionate about his generation - and making sure its voice is heard.

Outspoken, confident when dealing with adults, and ready to debate with and listen to those in authority, this 14-year-old wants to make sure young people have an input into what is happening in Felixstowe and get the facilities they need.

“We have to make sure young people are included when they plan the future of Felixstowe - at the end of the day, we are the future,” said, Alex, a GCSE student at Orwell High School.


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“If we want young people to stay in Felixstowe when they grow up then we have to create a town where they will be happy to stay and live with the things they want.”

He is keen to improve relationships, too, between the generations.

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“I think people in the town have a certain attitude towards young people and the young people have an attitude towards the adults - they seem to think the worst of each other and need to sit down and get to know each other and they would find out these preconceptions were not right,” he said.

“I have found the adults to be very happy to talk to us as young people, willing to listen and discuss and take on board some of our ideas.

“We need to work together and realise we cannot always have everything we want, but meeting with them helps us to understand how things work, why we cannot always have those things we want and what we can achieve.”

Alex, who lives with his mum and dad Peter and Sandra and brother Harry, 13, in Walton, plays a leading role at the Level Two youth centre in Felixstowe. He is one of the spokesman for the young people in helping to manage the centre, and also occasionally chairs the Felixstowe Youth Forum, which meets with the town council and representatives of other authorities.

At Level Two he meets with staff to discuss the running of the centre, helps write funding applications, meets visitors from different organisations, and helps behind the snack bar.

“I think Felixstowe has a lot to offer young people but often young people don't know what is out there,” he said.

“Level Two itself has plenty to offer - particularly information and advice, various services to help young people - but there are also lots of clubs and groups which young people can join.”

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