First 'World Café' event in Dudley

Police in Dudley held their very first student World Café at The Link Academy yesterday, giving students the chance to chat with officers, and each other, about life in their community.

More than 40 students of different ages and ethnicities came along to the event at the school on Simms Lane, Netherton to share their ideas.

The event was run by the Dudley Central team who cover the Netherton, Woodside and St. Andrews neighbourhoods. It was the first World Café to be held in the Dudley borough, and one of the first in the force aimed directly at young people.

Students were asked to discuss issues they experience where they live, and what they think can be done to tackle on-going problems. The session predominantly focused on youth violence which has risen dramatically in the last year, both nationally and in the West Midlands.

World Café events give people the chance to chat and share ideas in an informal setting and the children were encouraged to share ‘out of the box’ ideas by the local team who assured there were no right or wrong answers to the topics discussed. The ideas put forward by the school group this morning will now be looked at by the local team who have a portion of Active Citizens funding to allocate directly to local projects and initiatives.

Local providers will be invited into the school to pitch their ideas early next year, and the children will ultimately have the final say in how the money is spent. PCSO Nicola Tinker who ran the event today, said:

“This is about the children, this is about their voice. We want them to be heard. Today was an opportunity for them to be listened to and to make a real positive difference.

“In the new year we’ll be back with a number of providers who can put today’s concepts into action. The children will be asked to vote for their favourites, and the most popular projects will secure funding from the Active Citizens pot.”

At the end of the session a raffle was held, with prizes to local attractions and vouchers won by a number of students to thank them for taking part.

If you think that you’d like to get involved or hold a World Café Event at your school or organisation, why not contact your local neighbourhood team? Details can be found at


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