Support for young people across Torbay has been secured through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond thanks to an innovative partnership.
Using funding from Sanctuary Housing, local organisation Youth Genesis is offering a variety of services for young people aimed at boosting connections and developing skills.
A virtual “youth space” takes place every Friday for the young participants to chat to their peers, take part in workshops and access vital support.
In addition, a ‘Message a youth worker’ service has been launched every weekday afternoon for the youngsters to seek more immediate help and be signposted to places that could further support them.
This service has uncovered a range of issues that the youth workers are offering support with, including family relationship breakdown, loneliness, and education.
If any of the young people don’t have access to the internet or computers, or need additional support, project workers have been delivering ‘Empower Packs’ – a collection of resources to help generate ideas of things to do and improve emotional wellbeing.
And support for parents is also on offer. Youth Genesis staff have set up ‘Parent Access’, a safe space where parents and guardians can be listened to, access tools to support their child, and be signposted to appropriate agencies if there is a need for further support.
Jonathan Oliverio from Youth Genesis said: “The virtual support has been a lifeline to some of our young people, who have found the restrictions difficult due to their home life and mental health issues.
“By setting up our services so they can be accessed virtually or face-to-face we have ensured longevity for Youth Genesis as we move through the uncertainty of the next few months.”
Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, Lynne Roberts, added: “For many young people across Torbay, going into lockdown meant the removal of a crucial source of support. The fact that Youth Genesis has adapted to keep offering this is no mean feat and I’m confident it’s proved to be lifesaving for both parents and young people alike.”
For more information about the Youth Genesis Trust, please visit www.youthgenesis.org.uk.
*Photo taken prior to social distancing measures*