Organisation: Carmarthenshire Youth Support Service
Provision: Clwb Hwyl
Contact: Sarann West
The provision was established to offer support to young people with ALN & disabilities who find it difficult to access social opportunities after school hours without parental supervision. To provide a safe environment where young people can develop life skills & access opportunities that they may not be able to access otherwise.
Young people are identified initially through conversations with teachers & parents. The young people are not open to Statutory services. The development of the provision included Young People involved in consultation to develop programme content & planning of activities and what worked for them in following evaluation practices at end of a cycle of provision.
Consultation with young people, empowering young people to develop links within their local communities, enabling young people to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Facilitating opportunities for young people to develop life skills and independence. Giving equal opportunities to protected characteristic young people disadvantaged by their circumstances.
The use of youth work principles & practices in a formal school setting. Young people are allowed to express opinions and views, participate in the construction of activities that meet their needs, the provision is both empowering and educational as it improves the personal wellbeing of those who are involved.
The project brings many benefits to young people:
- Young people receive peer support provided by Clwb Hwyl project.
- The project has expanded to include young people who receive statutory services support. The initial project identified the need for this type of provision wider than original scope/purpose.
- Project is flexible and tailored to needs of young people e.g. single sex groups/mixed groups/group numbers/behavioural needs/medical needs etc.
- Young people developed confidence through learning to socialise with their peers in out of school environments supported by youth workers.
- Young people have been able to develop their confidence enabling them to meet & interact with new people within their local communities & wider afield.
- The project has provided new opportunities & experiences for young people to be able to access with their peers & friends.
- The project has helped to break down barriers previously faced in accessing mainstream youth provision.
- The experiential learning has transferred to other aspects of their lives including education, personal & social.
Feedback from parents/guardians has been extremely positive and reports of the project enabling young people to be able to cope with lockdown & social isolation. The project has also provided extra time for parents to ensure their own wellbeing is cared for.
The project breaks down barriers for staff & misconceptions in terms of supporting & enabling a group of ALN & disabled young people. The projects has raised the profile of the need for youth work intervention for all young people & the benefits that this brings. Has raised the profile of the work of the YSS.
It has provided equal opportunities & access to provision for ALN & disabled young people that wouldn’t ordinarily be available to them. Provided a safe space for these young people to interact with their peers & trusted adults. The Youth work approach has had to be adapted to enable young people with language/speech difficulties to be understood & benefit from intervention another positive of the interaction with youth workers.
The project has continued and adapted during lockdown to ensure that young people were able to continue to access vital support from youth workers & their peers. Something which has been welcomed by young people and parents.
The provision continues to be supported by the YSS and the school however consistent funding continues to be a problem.
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