The journey from childhood to adulthood can be tricky for many young people and for some, without support, it can affect their chances and opportunities for life.
Young people are often told what to do, at school and at home. Often lacking places where they can be themselves and explore the development of their personality and their potential.
There aren’t always trusted adults around who can walk alongside them to offer advice or guidance. In fact, there are often individuals or groups that can easily exploit or influence a young person's journey into adulthood in a damaging way.
“When I first started coming to the youth club, I was normally out in town getting myself in a lot of trouble. Such as doing things that I didn’t want to do and getting in a lot of trouble with the police. I was hanging out with the wrong people
."The pandemic has amplified existing inequalities and young people’s needs.
Rates of lockdown loneliness have been highest amongst young people, leaving one in four feeling ‘unable to cope’ during the pandemic. Referrals for under-18s to mental health services rose by 28%. As restrictions continue, young people are worried about not being able to form new relationships, and relying on social media much more in the absence of in-person contact.
As lockdown kicked in, Erin’s school closed, the youth centre closed and she was furloughed from her job, all in quick succession. She felt frustrated and worried that she “doesn’t have any control
” over her own future. She feels lonely and she's having major worries about how boredom will affect her mental health over time.Young people are really struggling with uncertainty about their future.
Since the start of the pandemic, young people have been more likely to be furloughed, suffer a reduction in hours/pay or lose their jobs. Evidence from previous economic downturns suggests particularly detrimental effects on younger workers with a peak in unemployment not shown until 5 years after a financial crisis.
James told his youth worker that he had lost all hope for any future aspirations and said “there’s no point in doing anything
”. James had been looking forward to starting an apprenticeship in September. He’s worried about his qualification results being based on coursework that he didn’t complete, now that exams had been cancelled. Our impact on the community
Maisy's Story- "When I first came I was really naughty and not good. Just bad, I don't really know how to explain it. I would always get in trouble, well not always, most of the time. I got in trouble for shouting at members of staff. But I learned new things like how to make cake pops and how to make friends. Here we do activities and I learn new things which have helped me make new friends. I'm not as shy now and I've made new friends."We unlock potential with young people and their communities
By providing safe spaces where young people can go, to be themselves, hang out with friends and experience new opportunities. Everything we do is through voluntary engagement and starts where the young person is at. 95% of young people who attend our sessions said they feel safe"Coming to the youth club for a longer amount of time now has changed my overall attitude towards turning my actions around. The youth workers are always there to talk to and support you. I feel safe in the youth club. It’s out of the way of the town and I get into no trouble here. The youth workers give you chances. I feel supported in life since I came to the youth club and I’ve started volunteering and my life has become more positive!”Our professional youth workers offer someone to talk to, so young people can ask questions that they might not want to ask their parents.
95% of young people we work with told us they had a youth worker they could trust
We provide a continuum of services that support young people along the journey to adulthood. From intensive 1:1 support and street-based outreach at critical turning points to open-access youth centres and online support."My son attended the year 7 youth club on Tuesday evening and came away - what I can only describe as ‘buzzing’! He said it was ‘epic’! Thank you to whoever was volunteering/working that night. He can’t wait for next week!"
Together with our supporters, we make a difference to the lives of thousands of young people and their communities, but there's more young people that need us. You can be part of a special group of compassionate supporters who believe in the potential of all young people, no matter their circumstances.
Together we can support young people to unlock their potential for tomorrow.
Your generosity and kindness means these young people aren't forgotten, but get the help and support they need to not only enrich their own lives, but to strengthen our communities across Devon.
We would love to recieve any offer of support. If you have a particular interest you would like to share with young people then please get in touch.