The project was detached youth work across Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, aiming to:
- Support young people to address the issues that they face which may be causing a barrier to their social, emotional, educational development and wellbeing and by doing so prevent escalation of need.
- Increase young people’s confidence and knowledge so that they can access support and information independently and in a timely manner to ensure self-regulation, self-care and to prevent the escalation of their needs which might result in crisis.
- Raise awareness of the needs of local young people post pandemic within their communities.
- Support young people integration within their local community and address issues of Anti-Social behaviour.
One area that showcases this project in its best light is Chatteris. We started by ensuring we had the support of the local council, firstly to gain permission to be in their park and then secondly, and possibly most importantly, that they were ready to hear what their young people were saying. The reputation of young people in Chatteris was not good, the reports of anti-social behaviour were extremely high and there were often dispersal orders in place to move young people out of areas they were ‘causing trouble.’
Through using youth providers – Youths of Fenland, we were able to get to the bottom of a lot of the trouble that was going on, which included rival gang fall outs and a lack of respect and relationship with their local police force. We were lucky that a member of the force was willing to come out and meet young people and has then been a driving force to the young people getting their own youth club. This club is now funded by the town council, as well as further detached youth work beyond the timeline of this project.
The reports of ASB have fallen dramatically and the engagement at the youth club is very high. The youth workers also stand outside the youth club to offer hot chocolate and have been told by one young person that it’s the only happy part of their week when they stop by for a hot drink.