Over a thousand young people across Warwickshire have taken part in a range of groups, clubs and projects to meet new people and gain new skills during the summer holidays.
Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Targeted Youth Support (TYS) team has completed a five-week summer holiday programme across the county to provide opportunities for young people across the county to learn, develop and grow.
Activities included small group work looking at identity and relationships, bush craft skills and team building, a Fire Citizenship Course and lots of different youth clubs. To talk about any issues over the long break from school, youth workers have also given one-to-one support to young people to help them deal with the negative effects of social media, anxiety and depressions, difficult relationships or exploitation. Youth workers made contact with 1,300 young people via activities and group work and a further 200 young people received the direct one-to-one support.
Youth workers are often the only professionals that young people will have contact with out of school. They have always had a presence in local communities in parks and neighbourhoods talking to young people and this has remained the case throughout the pandemic. Their knowledge, skills and experience - used to build relationships with young people and helping them learn and grow - is more important now than ever and the youth service has seen increased demand over the past eighteen months.
Alistair aged 15 from Warwickshire, who took part in some of the activities, said: “I really enjoyed all of the sessions, they exceeded my expectations. I met some new people and had fun.”
Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Warwickshire County council added: “Our youth workers do excellent work supporting young people and contributing to making Warwickshire a child friendly county where young people can live, learn and grow.
“This summer will have been especially hard for youngsters who have missed so much school, suffered periods of isolation or those who have strained family relationships. They would have needed something to do and someone to listen more than ever, so I’m pleased to see successful programmes like this running throughout the school break to keep young people connected and engaged in positive activity. I’m very proud of our youth teams and all they have done to give young people a voice, a place in their community and an opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Residents might see youth workers engaging with young people out in streets and parks offering one-to-one support. Young people will know if they are approached by a Warwickshire County Council Youth Worker but anyone who is unsure can contact Targeted Youth Support by calling Children’s Social Care on 01926 428142 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Warwickshire’s youth service, visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youthservice