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In the 2021 / 2022 VVU Youth Voices Listening Project, young people were asked questions on safety and where they feel safe in the community. Seventy young people in Thurrock participated in the project and identified areas that they felt unsafe in. One of these areas was Koala Park in Tilbury. Young people said that the park was “a crime hotspot”, they had heard reports of fighting and they felt unsafe hanging out with their friends there due to the poor lighting.

Having safe spaces to go to and belong in was really important to the young people. While indoor space was cited as a need in the area, the young people also wanted more safe spaces outside that have shelters and are well-lit.

We are really pleased we’ve been able to work with the Thurrock Community Safety team to install solar lights alongside the paths and overlooking the seating areas within Koala Park. This new lighting will help reduce the dark spaces. making the park more welcoming to young people who wish to use it.