Bettws, Newport


Bettws. It’s a bit hard to describe where the fat ones hang out cos the place is riddled.

Being from Caerfilthy  I’m used to seeing ***** and ****** but Bettws really took the biscuit for me.
I was doing some youth work in Newport and Bettws was one of the places I visited.
I helped run some youth clubs and organise activites for the upcoming carnival. The child-***** I can handle. They don’t know any better and they might one day grow out of it.
My first inkling of the chavviness of the place was stepping into Newport’s bus station. Pissed is not the word. I’ve never been so scared for my life.
Off I went on a journey to Bettws itself. It lies about 10-15 minutes from Newport and is basically a council estate the size of which I never in my darkest nightmares imagined. The built-in CCTV camera on the bus didn’t help my foreboding and neither did the two-tone green Nova we passed.

The one youth club wasn’t too bad apart from the alarming regularity that a child would arrive shrieking that Charmaine/Jordan/Brittany’s brother had been arrested ‘for the same thing as last time’.

I arrived at the youth centre to booming music, a dozen or so kids (between the ages of 3-14!!) and a ‘youth leader’ (I use the term losely) who looked and moved like Jabba the Hut. This bloke had no qualifications in youth work and not even a criminal record check from what I could gather. He swore at the kids (for swearing), would go into great detail about his female conquests with the 14 year old girls and proudly declare how he used to drink 20 cans of coke a day.
There was another poor soul I shall name D. who took to hiding in cupboards to get away from the sheer hell of it.

How grim is your Postcode?

I blocked most of the experience out but I think the highlight of my time there was when I was asked out by a junior youth leader. As far as I can tell you get to the exalted position by not swearing or taking as much crack as the other kids.

Anyhoo, I was there toiling away on some project or another when said youth sidled up to me and said I was working really hard, deserved a rest and said when the project was over we would have to go for a drink. I brushed him off as gently as possible with vague muttering and left the room, thinking that was the end of it.

I returned to find a little post-it note with the words ‘My number and 07*** *** ***’ on it. But it was not just any post-it note, oh no. It was a sexual health helpline post-it note! I took it a sign from God that I shouldn’t touch him with a bargepole. As if the condom wrapper hadn’t done that already.

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