Street Talk is a detached youth work programme run by East Surrey YMCA working in the Goodwyns and Chart Downs estates in Dorking. It is perceived as an ‘Umbrella’ project, a funnel to other YMCA projects and services such as mental health and pathways to work. The YMCA have established that there is a real need for this project, particularly as, whilst there is a range of activities in Dorking, young people involved in the programme do not, in practice, travel to them either on foot or by public transport.
The YMCA have a successful team of qualified youth workers who use an iBus as a movable location for activities. This is a highly effective way of engaging with young people at risk, enabling youth workers to build relationships, assess needs and offer information, advice and guidance on various issues such as mental health support, pathways to work, crime and gang culture and any other issues that the young people raise themselves. The YMCA are also considering introducing into the programme positive organised activities during the school holidays. The project aims to engage 50-75 young people each year and has seen the young people who participate make better choices about education and training which improves their employability. They have also seen a decrease in anti-social behaviour in their communities.
YMCA East Surrey – Street Talk
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