Brent Housing Partnership Youth Blog

Brought to you by the'Our Say' Magazine Team and BHP Youth Board


September 2011

The Barclays Bike scheme: An efficient alternative to public transport or too much hassle?

The adverts make it seem a lot easier than it is. Standing on the edge of Hyde Park the last thing you want to be doing is trying to work out how to get a free 30 minute ride. We’ll be honest, we didn’t work it out. So we settled paying £1.00 for 24 hours. So you get all the receipts as usual, and a set of instructions which tell you to enter a code. Now as you all know there are quite a few numbers on a receipt and after trying all of them we’d hit a wall. All was not lost though; some kind Londoners informed us that you have to renter your debit card to print a code. Voila! The bikes were ours, after that point it was all clean cycling.
There’s definite room for improvement, extending the bike stands to Greater London, implementing Barclays Contactless Debit Cards all leave an exciting few years ahead for Barclays Bikes.
Now as seasoned veterans of the Barclays Bikes, without any hesitation, we would definitely use the service again and encourage others to try it out.
Could this new scheme be used by schools in Brent or Brent in general? It would be one way for teenagers and adults to stay fit, and a greener way to travel. What are your views, do you think it could work?

Please leave your comments.

For more information on hiring Barclays Bikes, please go to:


what is music?

What is music?

 Members of the Our Say Team were having a discussion on the nature of music. It was a lively debate and here is a snapshot of what they discussed.

 Krupa Kanadia, 17, says:

 “Harmony, melody and the uses of instruments is what music is to me. It’s not who can talk the fastest or who can sell music the most, it’s mainly about opinion. Many people can say that some artists sell a lot of music, or have won many awards that is why they are a good artist, when in fact that isn’t always the case. There are many artists like Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey that are famous for their music but not everyone likes their music no matter how successful they are. You can’t use success as evidence of a good artist.

 “If a piece of music sounds terrible you can’t make yourself like it because someone else does, it’s simply your opinion and no one can change that. It’s not how well someone can rap or how well someone can sing, or even how well someone can make ‘noise’ just how well an artist can empathise with their fans opinions.

 Paul Nugent, 18, says:

 “Music to me is completely opposite, it’s not about the sound of it. I feel it’s more about the lyrical content in music, the message which is being sent to the fan as many people can relate to musicians. And with the modern era of music, musicians are aided by computers, or the whole thing is computerised which completely removes the talent from it. Therefore the only talent left is the lyrics. That’s if the artist writes the music themselves and doesn’t use ghost writers.

 All in all, everyone has a different opinion, they could like the music, computerised or not, or they could like the lyrics, or even both, everyone different”.

 Jessica Alves,17, says: 

“Why do we seek the definition of music? It is one of human’s most natural impulses, so shouldn’t we already have the answer? After all, the notion of music is naturally instilled in us from birth, from rhythms and vibrations of the mundane pace of the outside world, to tapping on a toy drum as a child, to the irreplaceable playlist on our MP3 players.

We grow with music, and our tastes develop as we mature, therefore music is a fundamental part of the developing human being. However, even though music is something which unites us as we all crave it in our lives, the issue of what is classified as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ remains one of the most debatable topics today.

The Oxford dictionary states music is ‘vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion’. If this is true, then any combination of sounds can be classified as music. So who are we to personally distinguish what should be aired on the radio and not? Music is what unites us globally, be it Rock, Indie, R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, House, Metal or any other genre of music. We should appreciate that the universal beat and rhythm is part of what makes us human and respect it rather than condoning it.

What are your views?


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