Warwickshire youth workers help county youngsters get away from it all during summer vacation

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HUNDREDS of Warwickshire youngsters – some of whom have never been on holiday – have had the chance to escape during the school summer holidays thanks to projects and activities offered by the county’s youth workers.

Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Targeted Youth Support (TYS) team ran over 60 sessions and activities over the summer holidays, to help young people across the county learn, develop and growing up.

They included a trip to Brean Beach in Somerset, supported by Warwick District Council through Crown Routes, which youth workers organized after some young people told them they had never been on holiday. Buckets, shovels and money for ice cream were donated by WCC Children’s Services staff.

A youth who took part in the trip said, “I had a great time today. I loved spending time with my friends and going to the beach with them. Another added: “Making sand castles was the best. I haven’t been to the beach in seven years!

Other activities over the summer included bushcraft skills and team building, Boxercise, a mental health art project supported by Barnardos and Arts Connect, and a bike and moped project backed by the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Jeff Morgan, portfolio holder for children’s services at Warwickshire County Council, said: ‘Summer holidays can be particularly difficult for young people who may have strained relationships with their families and miss out on social interactions that the school can offer them.

“I am happy to see successful programs like this taking place throughout the school holidays to keep young people connected and engaged in positive activities and to be heard.

“I am 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.

Youth workers also provided individual support to young people to help them cope with negative effects of social media, anxiety and depression, difficult relationships or exploitation.

It is a small team of professionally qualified youth workers who use their knowledge, skills and experience to build positive relationships with young people aged 11-18.

Youth workers are often the only professionals with whom young people will have contact outside of school. They have always had a presence in local communities in parks and neighborhoods to speak to young people, and this has remained the case throughout the pandemic. The youth service has seen increased demand over the past eighteen months.

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 contacting Children’s Social Care at [email protected] or 01926 428142.

Visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youthservice for more information on Warwickshire Youth Service.

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