Are you interested in supporting young people to be the best that they can be? To help navigate the challenges that life throws at us all?
Do you see Suffolk’s future in the hands of our young people and want to be part of shaping better outcomes for them?
Youth Focus Suffolk is a programme brought together by Suffolk County Council to enhance and encourage positive activities in the community which support our young people and give them the confidence and ambition to thrive.
But I’m not a professional youth worker?
And that is fine! This is for everyone in our communities – to grow our skills in supporting young people, in whatever form that interaction takes.
We know that every contact made with a young person; may that be a brief conversation in a shop, sat in the hairdressers or barbers or whilst walking the dog in the park – is an opportunity as adults, for us to listen, share and support.
So, are you a:
Café owner? Parent governor? Councillor? School caretaker? Bus driver? School taxi driver? Karate club organiser? Shop security? Nail technician?
Are young people customers of your business?
Maybe you employ a young person?
Or you simply chat with them in the street.
However you engage with young people in your community, there’s always more to learn and ways to grow.
And whatever your background, we all have a stake in making things better for young people.
How can you help me?
We have free training available, grants to support on the ground activities, toolkits and resources to support you, and a free peer network.
You will find resources and support on these pages so that you can take an active role in being there for the adults of tomorrow in your village, your town, your community.
As our young people adapt to this new and changing environment, their needs, ambitions and opportunities may have changed. Mental health struggles, feeling vulnerable to risky behaviours, and social pressures all have an impact on how they think, talk and act. We are adding to our resources in these areas to give you the tools you need to signpost to services and offer the most appropriate support.
Our communities are stronger, safer and healthier when we all work together.
Thankyou for being part of it.
In order to support those in the community who have connecting moments with young people, we have a series of training available to you.
These are accessible for any over 18s who have some contact with young people (this does not need to be in a formal and traditional ‘youth work’ role) and would like to broaden their skills in engaging with them.
Places have been funded through the Youth Focus Suffolk programme and so are provided free of charge to you.
Click on the button for details on individual courses
We will be adding to our training offer in the future. If you have particular requirements for a subject area that you would be keen to have more support in, let us know and we will look to develop an appropriate offer.
It’s not always easy offering support to young people – knowing when to signpost in to services, when and how to encourage opening up, and giving the right sort of support.
It can feel lonely.
This is why we offer peer support.
Being able to connect with others who are also involved in working with young people, and who have had similar experiences can be really helpful in developing your own confidence, knowledge and understanding of how to approach things in your own community.
If you attend one of our free training sessions with Community Action Suffolk, you will automatically be added to our peer network. This will give you access to an online forum and additional free online training in more specialist areas such as substance misuse.
We know that when young people are engaged in positive activities in their communities, they are more likely to thrive. They learn new skills, gain confidence and have the opportunity to spend time with peers in a safe space.
After this last year, it’s even more important that young people have engaging activities to look forward to as we all adjust.
It is about giving this opportunity to young people in Suffolk that a grant scheme has been created.
Following on from the hugely successful Youth Intervention Grant, we have funds available between £2,500 and £20,000.
It’s really important that submissions demonstrate how young people have been involved in shaping the project, and we particularly welcome applications which fill gaps in rural Suffolk.
The application window closes on 5 July 2021.
For more information and details on how to apply are on the Suffolk Community Foundation website.
We know that when young people feel safe, are positively engaged in activities that interest them and they are accessible (at a good time for them and in a location they can get to easily), they are more likely to build their confidence, make good choices, and contribute positively.
It could be that in the conversations you have with young people, there’s a gap in knowledge as to what is on offer in Suffolk for them.
To make that easier, we have mapped out what is out there at the moment for 10-19 year olds.
You can search our map by a particular location you or the young people are interested in, or by interest/topic.
And we know things change. Some activities stop, and some new ones emerge in new places, so if you know of other services or activities, please let us know and we will get those details added.
The Source website provides sources of information and support to young people in Suffolk, about the things that matter to them. This includes advice on education and career options, health, relationships, preparing for exams, leisure activities, volunteering and apprenticeships. You can follow The Source on Facebook and Twitter.
Film made by children and young people from Suffolk, which describes their Ideal Worker. They describe the skills and qualities of professionals, which are most important to them.
Public Health and Communities
Suffolk County Council