This week is National Youth Work Week and that gives us a good reason to celebrate our youth team and all that they do.
Today we are shouting loud and proud about the contribution that TDC youth work makes to the improved health and wellbeing of young people across Brighton.
This picture shows youth worker Polly Labanya letting her hair down whilst dressing up at the 50th birthday party we held for the 67 Centre a few years ago. Polly has worked for the TDC for over 10 years and has progressed into the role of Health & Wellbeing Youth Worker.
So what does that mean exactly?
Polly works closely with the School Nurse Team, commissioned by the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. When it becomes clear that issues are starting to pile up for young people, school nurses ask for our specialist youth work approach to engage with them and support the individuals to work through the issues that are present in their lives. This has meant giving support to address a whole range of problems and barriers that young people face, including anxiety, depression, bullying, friendships, hygiene, family relationships and more.
An example of Polly’s work this year has seen her engage with a 15 year old young woman who, for a range of reasons, had not left her house for several months. The young woman had disengaged from school a while before, possibly linked to her ADHD making it a difficult place to learn. Polly talked through a barricaded bedroom door on three separate home visits with the girl before she agreed to go out with her. Trips to the park, the youth club and the Library to get the young woman her first library card boosted her confidence and independence and now she regularly enjoys going and checking out new books and films, and travelling on the bus (something she hadn’t felt able to do for some time).
Polly’s work is in creating ‘everyday yet remarkable’ moments that mean so much for local young people in knocking down barriers so that they can contribute positively to their community.
For more information about this service, please email [email protected]