Our Saturday trips supported by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex

We often work with ECVYS – Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services to contribute to their youth listening projects, where young people are able to give their views on different topics. ECVYS gather hundreds of young peoples responses and then shares this with key organisations, to make sure decisions that affect young people are made with an awareness of young peoples experiences.

Some of the work we did with them last year showed us that young people can often feel unsafe in their communities due to worries around violence and crime. They also feel unwelcome at times and feel socialising is labelled as loitering or causing a nuisance. Young people told us they want to go out with friends but these issues often prevent them, and they frequently either ‘deal with’ feeling unsafe, or chose not to socialise, rather spending time online. This highlighted the challenges young people experience and the ongoing impacts, particularly relating to mental health, friendships, safety and self esteem. We also spoke to parents who were worried about their children being victims of violence and crime, as well as being encouraged or coerced into engaging in this.

As a result we sought funding to support additional work and were over the moon to be support by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. As many of you will be aware, we have been running Saturday Days Out for our Seniors, with trips to Lazertag, the cinema, Jumpstreet and more. We have been able in the first instance, to offer something really fun to do with friends on a Saturday afternoon, but as youth workers we want to do more. This is where this work ties into the rest of our provision. We know that taking young people out for a few hours on a Saturday doesn’t change the challenges they face, however it does support friendships, aspirations, motivation and self esteem. And alongside our detached and centre based work, it promotes a sense of belonging and an experience of community, an expectation of trust, respect and responsibility, where young people feel valued, and understand their safety and wellbeing is important.

Young people who feel part of something, who value their own safety and have the confidence to implement their own boundaries, who understand positive relationships compared to peer pressure, and have a strong sense of self worth are more likely to be able to persist at new challenges, strive for their future, identify when others are manipulating them, maintain strong healthy social networks and seek support when they need it.

Youth work is a small but important piece of the jigsaw in young peoples lives, fitting in with influences and experiences usually starting at home with families, beliefs and cultures, education, friends, their online lives, personal experiences and more. Thanks to all those that support NAYC and enable us to continue growing and offering as many young people as possible to choice to be involved

If you or your child would like to book a space on our upcoming trips or find out what else we do, please feel free to get in touch.

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