There has been many stories of groups of young people clashing from Knowle West and Hartcliffe.

Whilst there is some truth to this there is also a wider story that the two South Bristol estates are intertwined with families and friendship groups that go back for generations.

Never was this more apparent than a recent away trip we took to Barton Camp.

Aerial shot of Hartcliffe

During the October Half Term we took a group of young people, predominantly from Knowle West to the residential activity centre based in Winscombe in North Somerset. There they got to take part in a range of outdoor team building and personal development sessions from high ropes, to swimming pool games, to forest skills. And as Halloween was on the horizon there were some themed spooky activities.

On the second day for the first time, we were joined by our partners Hartcliffe Club for Young People, who are members of Young Bristol. They brought young people from Hartcliffe, and both groups merged. A total of 50 young people played together in the pool and the surrounding areas, and any postcode barriers were broken down and long forgotten.

Youth Moves youth worker Laura said : "It was great to finally be able to mix the two youth clubs together, with the well known issues between both areas. But to be honest it wasn't an issue on the day, and you wouldn't have known where they are from. Some of the older volunteers from both projects were more aware of past history and issues than younger children, but it didnlt even come up in conversation. If anything it was more about what it was like being young volunteers!"

Youth workers from Youth Moves and Hartcliffe Club for Young People teaming up at the residential 

Youth worker Jack from Young Bristol was really pleased with how everything went. He said : "The meeting up was met with some trepidation by the Hartcliffe young people. But we set up mixed teams, and the barriers literally fell within minutes. The kids instantly forgot where they were from.

From a club viewpoint this is something we look forward to continuing," he added.

The staff at Youth Moves agree wholeheartedly, and we hope this is the start of more partnership work and targeted projects to bring together groups of young people from across South Bristol.

CEO Ali Dale said : "It's important to recognise the real life challenges that some young people can face, if they wander into an area they aren't from. Which is well documented on the news and media. But it's also vital to challenge some of the myths that young people have about each other and those postcode areas.

By going to neutral places like Barton Camp it takes the sting out of it, and territories are't an issue, and young people are out of their comfort zones. They soon forget these differences, take part and play and quickly become friends. By working with clubs like Hartcliffe , who have that trusting relationship, collectively we can bridge the gap between young people.

Art activities at Barton Camp

We hope to maintain and build partnerships with a range of organisations to create a lasting and sustained legacy in the city," he added.

One of the youth workers there was Paul Coyne, born, raised and still living in Knowle West, and he remarked : "Who said Knowle West and Hartcliffe couldn't mix eh?" It just goes to show the power and impact of effective youth work - this is just the start.