Last week Lytham St Annes News was contacted by a resident alleging chairs were vandalised in Ashton Gardens that had been left behind by a Community Group.  However, we were contacted by the youths in question with “their side of the story” which we are privileged to publish.

The youths claim that young people in St Annes, and especially teenagers are treated unfairly by older residents, and are made to feel uneasy.

Hannah aged 14 from St Annes said “We’ve come to realise most adults around St Annes struggle to believe polite, respectful, sensible teenagers exist. although we already knew adults looked down on us for being teenagers, unfortunately, we weren’t aware that sitting on chairs that had been left on a park was something we could be harassed and shamed for. it upsets me to say that I’ve been spoken to poorly by adults who think it’s okay to treat us differently on more than one occasion and when asked if they’d speak to someone much older than me that way, they fell silent. It needs to stop. I can’t speak on behalf of my friends but I’m in top sets at school with predicted 7s and 8s and never get myself in to any trouble, a lot of people I’ve spoken to have actually noticed and told me that I’m a well-mannered kid. my incredible mum brought her 5 children up to be just that and having people on Facebook, who don’t know my family questioning the way my mum taught us is deeply hurtful. of course i understand that there are some teenagers around our area that cause a lot of trouble/ We have the right to a childhood and forcing us to grow up too fast is a sad attempt to take it away from us. A lot of kids fear missing out on their teenage years so all i ask is that you leave us alone.”

Her friends also told Lytham St Annes News:

Caitlin explained “I don’t feel safe, i get judged for just walking down the street by adults, especially being a girl it can be a bit more than that and is very scary”

Katie added “I feel like I’m being starred at constantly by people and that i have to be cautious”

Harrison said “I feel unfairly treated by adults especially in the shops and in the street, there’s a lot of assumptions and stereotypes built around being a teenage boy even when we’re not doing anything wrong”

We here at Lytham St Annes News would like to thank the teenagers for sharing their side of the story.