A Pinehurst-based youth worker has been singled out to speak at a national conference for his work with disadvantaged young people.

Aaron Webb will be one of five panellists at the Kids & Youth Insights 2020 conference at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in London on January 23.

He will appear alongside people from Sport England, Women in Sport and the British Science Association, talking about his work engaging deprived children in the parish’s youth program of events.

Aaron, who has worked for Central Swindon North Parish Council since December 2018, said: “I’m really pleased to have been asked. I’m very proud and it’s a privilege to be representing the parish council at such an event.

“It’s very rewarding to have all the hard work recognised nationally,” he said.

Aaron was approached by StreetGames, who is supporting the event, to speak to the 300 strong audience of different youth organisations from across the UK.

He will talk about his work involving 12-16 year-olds in sports programs for boxing and American Football. Aaron also hosted a successful anti-knife crime rally in June with Voluntary Action Swindon, and a Christmas lunch for youths who wouldn’t normally get one.

“It’s very important that young people have access to this sort of thing,” said Aaron. “Everyone deserves to have hobbies and the chance to engage with something they’re interested in. We try to be there to support young people develop skills and provide an environment where they can meet new friends, attend social events and build their confidence.

“They haven’t always got options out there if their families or carers can’t help, support or guide them. But here they have the option of the parish helping them instead.”

John Ballman, parish councillor for Pinehurst said: “It’s absolutely amazing that Aaron has been picked for this.

“Since Aaron has been here he has really made an impression, not just upon us councillors, but in the work he’s doing with all the young people."

“It means a lot to have this recognised nationally as this area of Swindon doesn’t deserve its negative reputation,” he added.

Aaron said he was not nervous about speaking, but in fact rather looking forward to it.

“I haven’t written my speech yet, but I’ll be working on that over the next few days,” he said.