Two Wigan Youth Zone Workers came to their help!
Wigan Youth Zones takes pride in their Outreach provision, with the aim of making Wigan Youth Zone as accessible as possible to as many young people, regardless of where they live around the borough as distance to the centre can be a barrier for some young people and their families.
Detached youth work has long been recognised as an effective way to engage those young people considered vulnerable or ‘at risk’ who choose not to access building based youth provision. In the past few months, this has been especially true with lockdown restrictions in place and a media focus on young people in relation to Covid-19. During the lockdown, it was found to be one of the most effective ways of keeping in contact with young people and engaging some of the most vulnerable. In 2019/2020 we saw 478 young people engaged on the streets which vastly increased as the pandemic hit with engagement numbers of 4,149 on Outreach and Shakerly Satellite Centre.
Our outreach team has been praised for its efforts in helping young people feel safe in the Wigan Borough.
A parent got in touch with Wigan Youth Zone over Easter Weekend and said;
“My daughter was with her friends in Wigan Park on Easter Saturday when a group of youths approached them and threw her skateboard into the duck pond. They felt very scared and quite intimidated by these youths as they were throwing things at them. Two Youth Workers from Wigan Youth Zone came to their help and even offered to walk them all to a point where they felt safe. My daughter was extremely upset and shaken by the incident but felt immediately safe when the youth zone workers came to help them. I am very grateful to the two young men who came to help them and find it very reassuring to know that there are people like that around. I just wanted them to know how grateful my daughter and myself are.”
Our Head of Youth Work Siky said;
“The impact of working on the streets is immense. When our Outreach Youth Workers go out on the streets they create a safe presence and support for many young people who may be in vulnerable situations. We are so proud of our Youth Workers utilising their judgement and can save a young person from being abused or getting hurt.”
Our Outreach and Detached Youth Work Coordinator said;
“Sometimes, walking around the streets and having a chat with young people can seem like the easiest job in the world and is very enjoyable without us necessarily getting any tangible sense of our value to the community. The core of the work is a slow burner and on a night-by-night basis. However, it’s on sessions like this that things can perhaps get a little more uncomfortable but we can go home knowing that we have made a real difference to someone’s life. These young ladies might have been physically harmed or may have been left feeling so anxious about the situation that they could have avoided parks for the foreseeable future. Every night, somewhere in the borough, there will be a situation that’s waiting for us to walk round the corner and help with. Some nights we just choose the right corner.”
Wigan Youth Zone is always looking for a helping hand particularly with Volunteers available to make a difference in the community with Outreach based Youth Work. You can also help with a one-off donation to support their Outreach provision which will go towards the running of a regular bus service from different areas of the Borough, and our satellite centre provisions!
For more information on Outreach or volunteering please email Mike at email@example.com
To make a donation click here: https://www.wiganyouthzone.org/donate/