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.
You can watch a short video below about youth work in action by 'Fully Focused' a youth led film production company and member of London Youth.
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.
Thank you 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 either been funded through the Youth Focus Suffolk programme and so are provided free of charge to you or they are available free of charge by the provider.
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.
The Youth Focus Peer Support Network is now live!
If you'd like to join please helen firstname.lastname@example.org. The group is hosted on the Knowledge Hub, so you'll need to create an account and join the Youth Focus Suffolk group.
You can register an account on Knowledge Hub by completing the registration form. When you have registered and verified your account, you can search for groups to join that are relevant to you and your role.
Some groups are ‘open’ and you can join right away, and others are ‘restricted’ which means you will need to ‘request to join’ and a facilitator will be in touch with you. After joining groups you can connect with members, participate in the group’s activity and access the group’s content and updates.
Here is a direct link to the Youth Focus Suffolk group. In this group you will find information about training, grants, events and resources.
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.
Advice and Support for Fundraising
You can access fundraising advice, resources and support from Community Action Suffolk here: Funding Advice - Community Action Suffolk
Sustainability Training and Resources
We have a selection of training available and on demand resources, from 'Armchair Fundraising - the basics' to 'Crowdfunding for Success', 'Finance essentials for Trustees' to 'Social Impact measurement'.
Visit Sustainability - Community Action Suffolk to see what's on and contact email@example.com to enrol for training free of charge for youth organisations or to arrange a free one to one funding surgery.