We’ve been supporting young people for over two decades and we have never seen such demands on our services. We want to help as many young people and families as we can, so in response to their growing needs we have increased support by over 1000 hours.
That’s a lot of hours. With these increased hours of support have come some observations about key themes that young people are talking to us about.
This month we're taking a look at three things that have stood out to us and what we’re doing to help combat them:
1.They feel left behind:
We are seeing a trend in 16+ year olds who are struggling with feelings of being left behind and existing in a limbo after a year of disrupted education and extended periods of isolation; they feel like they’re struggling to find their footing in the world.
To help with this we've stepped up communication across our partnerships with organisations we work with to help keep young people connected. Seeing a positive trend in young people self-referring we’ve been working to make sure that they are connected with someone, through a group or one-to-one capacity, who can help support them through their transitional periods and reach them earlier.
Across all of our areas, we've been reaching out to young people and families whilst they're on our waiting lists, making sure they're getting support from us as early as possible. The teams have been reaching out once a month to check in and see how the young person is doing and feeling, offering quick support and relief over the phone. This has been really valuable in helping them and their family feel as supported as possible.
2. They are experiencing serious and worrying situations:
Not only are young people seeing an increase in the pandemic having negative effects of their wellbeing we are also seeing a rise in reports of knife crime and serious crime and violence in under 20s. The numbers of young people not in education is mirrored in climbing rates of online risks including the targeting of vulnerable young people by County Lines gangs, and extremism.
So, how are we helping young people who are facing these situations?
We recognise that these young people need an individual and intensive support system that can be truly flexible to meet their needs when they need them most. We’re really fortunate to be able to provide that, being agile in our responses and tailoring our services to the young person.
Out and about on a walk and talk session in the sunshine
3.They want to be heard:
Young people have lost so much over the past year. Importantly, they’ve lost opportunities to begin conversations to be curious, to explore, and to learn in an environment with adults they trust. We want to make sure that these young people are being heard, that they have a voice.
From our detached work in our local communities where our youth workers are able to have candid conversations with young people without fear of stigma, through to our new Youth Voice group where young people have a space to voice their opinions and feedback, we are making sure that their voices are front in centre in the work that we do.
In light of recent news, the Youth Voice group have been talking about just how unsafe young people have been feeling at the moment. They were able to talk about what more they felt Motiv8 could be doing to help them feel safe when going to different provisions that we offer. Bringing their ideas to the table and letting their voices be heard means we're able to take what they're feeling and channel it into helping them. Together we're able to create lasting change with young people's voices at the heart of it.
We hope that this gives you a bit of an insight into what young people are feeling and struggling with at the moment. The challenges keep mounting up, but we're working hard to make sure that young people feel empowered to take them on head on.
Our supporters are a big part of helping us be able to provide all the support we carry out to help young people; we couldn't do it without you. We really appreciate any support you can give, from sharing word about our work with friends and colleagues, to donating and payroll giving, it all helps us make a real difference.