1st Jul, 2022

Youth workers hit the streets to help young people get through pandemic

Editorial Correspondent 31st Aug, 2020 Updated: 31st Aug, 2020

YOUTH workers are meeting young people across the county to help with any issues or concerns, and to help them to stay safe during the pandemic.

Warwickshire County Council’s Targeted Youth Support (TYS) service has a team of youth workers who build strong relationships with young people to help them make positive futures.

The service has seen an increase in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, with youth workers helping young people who are isolated, have difficult family relationships, are dealing with the negative effects of social media, lack formal education, or are at increased risk of exploitation.

Throughout the pandemic, youth workers have acted as community ambassadors and helped to communicate key messages around Covid-19 to young people around social distancing, controlling the virus, protecting others and being asymptomatic.

Hollie Hutchings, Targeted Youth Support Team Manager at Warwickshire County Council, said: “I love being a youth worker and I enjoy supporting young people to work through any issues that may stop them from reaching their potential.

“We discuss their experiences and emotions and can support them to address things like worries and motivation through to specific support to prevent self-harm or anti-social behaviour.

“During the past few months, a lot of the young people that I have worked with have really struggled with their mental health because they haven’t been seeing their friends or they have difficult family relationships at home.

“It has been even more important that we support young people throughout Covid-19 so that we can help them and also share information with them so that they can stay safe and protect others in the community around them.

“On the whole young people have been really pleased to see us and seemed to appreciate a youth worker coming out to see how they were. Often we have been the only professionals that young people are having contact with, especially as they haven’t been at school.”

Thomas, a 16-year-old living in Warwickshire, said: “The support my youth worker has given me has massively helped me move forward when I didn’t think I could.”

Kayleigh, a 15-year-old in Warwickshire, said: “My youth worker helped me a lot with my problems and he listened to me when I needed someone to talk to. He always helps me get through my problems.”

Warwickshire County Council’s Children’s Services spokesman Coun Jeff Morgan said: “All of our youth workers have really risen to the challenge during this difficult time and they are all fantastic examples of individuals working hard to do the right thing for young people and the wider community in Warwickshire during the pandemic.

“Our youth workers enable young people to have a voice and a place in their communities and society as a whole by giving them the confidence and life skills that they need to live, learn, work and achieve.”

Youth workers engage with young people in streets and parks. 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 emailing tys@warwickshire.gov.uk or calling 01926 428142.

Visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youthservice for more information on the Targeted Youth Support service.

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