The TDC Youth team works primarily in the North and East of Brighton & Hove. Our varied youth work programme normally includes regular youth clubs, detached youth work, youth-specific consultations and participation work as well as dedicated one-to-one support on health and wellbeing issues.
Young people can talk to their youth workers in their own environment about a range of issues they might be facing. Our youth team are professionals trained in addressing mental health and sexual health concerns, knife usage, substance misuse – able to affect a lot of positive work, or refer to specialists if needed helping young people channel their strengths and interests into positive outcomes.
When the lockdown began, the TDC Youth team took swift action to create an online programme of youth work, providing a weekly schedule of events such as facebook chats, zoom youth clubs and other live streams plus daily challenges and quizzes.
Caroline Vitta, our Youth Work Manager for the East of the city said:
“The TDC youth team have been the heroes for me at this time with their ability to just get on with the job, especially as some are quite new to the team still.
The team thrives on the face to face contact they have with young people. So when we went into lockdown as a country there was an immediate focus from the team on how we could keep in touch with our groups.
They quickly put together an online programme with youth workers available every day to chat, share information and suggest fun activities. Everyone has stepped up to make this work with creative ideas, trying out new technology and actively finding ways to reach out to young people.”
Georgina and Abi who run Look Sussex led the way in organising fun sessions on Zoom for young people and their families. They have done quizzes, talent shows, a sensory Scavenger Hunt and just had fun.
Tara who is one of the Founders of Look Sussex, and also a mum to one of the members fed this back: “Georgina is doing a brilliant job of keeping our much-needed group connected through this very difficult time. Huge praises for her professionalism throughout all – we love you Georgie & of course the Abi’s x2! We look forward to seeing you all ‘properly’ very soon 👏👏👏👍😜😊XXX”
Caroline continues, “At the end of May the Youth Work team were assigned Key Worker status by Brighton and Hove City Council which meant we were able to resume our Street Based Youth Work. This means we have been able to talk to any young people that are out and about with their friends and check on how they’ve been feeling, that they understand the latest guidelines on socialising and offer support and guidance where needed. All youth workers now carry PPE and are mindful of social distancing to keep ourselves and young people safe. We have up to 6 sessions a week covering Patcham, Whitehawk, Woodingdean, Preston Park, Saltdean and Rottingdean as well as keeping an eye on any emerging areas that we are notified of.
And a last piece of good news is that the team worked hard with young people to write applications for the Brighton & Hove City Council Youth-Led Grants scheme. These applications focused on funding for activities that young people want to do once we are able to get youth groups running again. As always, the young people had great ideas and we were granted funding for a summer activity programme, a social action project, a Travellers’ drama project, Moulsecoomb Young Men’s Group, a new Whitehawk young women’s project, a substance awareness piece of work, a young person’s football event and Look Sussex will be running a wellness project. We hope that as UK restrictions continue to ease we will be able to plan some great things for young people to get involved with”.