The Preston Social held its first event at the new location of the Forum on Winckley Street on Tuesday, with the topic focused around debating the contentious idea of responsibilities and rights surrounding young people online.
Attendees heard from Duncan Hodgson, who develops applications for young people through his work with Plings and rubothered.co.uk, which he designed, developed and has maintained since its origin. The site was recently shortlisted for Best Website of the Radio Wave Culture & Lifestyle Awards.
Duncan summed up his mentality by saying “if your children saw a swimming pool, you wouldn’t build a wall around it, you’d teach them to swim”. He emphasised the importance of consulting with and educating children about the web from a young age – making them feel part of it rather than setting up filters that blocked lots of sites that could be beneficial to them (Twitter, YouTube etc).
The second speaker of the evening was Sarah Goodall, who founded the Athena Programme in 2007 and has 21 years’ experience as a volunteer, social worker, probation officer and youth offending team manager.
Sarah is an expert in safeguarding young people, and her talk encompassed various strategies and methods that she has found to be successful in her own work across charities and local authorities.
After the speaking sessions had fiinished the floor was open for debate, and I’ve collected some tweets from the evening below.
Want to suggest a topic for a future meetup? Either get in touch with the Preston Social on Twitter, get involved in our LinkedIn group or our Facebook page.