Case study: Cwmbran Centre for Young People
The Cwmbran Centre for Young People is a youth organisation based in Cwmbran town centre that offers a wide range of services and activities for children and young people, from birth to 25 years old.
Due to a lack of funding the centre had withdrawn its evening youth provision, with the knock on effect being more young people gathering in the town centre and a well-publicised problem with anti-social behaviour.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner agreed to fund the project to about £40k per year, for three years, from the Police Community Fund, to run open access drop in sessions on weekday evenings. The funding covers the employment of up to four youth workers per evening and allows them to put on a range of activities to keep young people engaged.
One to one support is available to young people that need it, and everyone using the centre has access to the wide range of services it offers, including education and training opportunities.
Due to family breakdowns NT felt it was no longer safe to stay at home and was sofa surfing with friends. Their mental, physical and emotional health has been deeply affected by volatility of their lifestyle and early home life.
NT's behaviour spiralled out of control and they were having inappropriate relationships with people they were meeting through social media. NT was regularly self-harming and abusing drugs and alcohol.
NT started coming to the evening drop-in sessions right at the start and has experienced a huge range of benefits from the services offered by the centre.
They have been having weekly mentoring sessions with staff, and have attended sessions on safe relationships, sexual health, independent living and employability.
NT has accessed the centre’s counselling service to help build confidence/skills and become better equipped to start work, while overcoming the barriers that were preventing them from being able to obtain and retain employment.
The centre staff supported NT with essential skills, job searching, mock interviewing, creating a CV, completing application forms, and in obtaining interview clothing from a local donation project. NT has now recently secured a job serving at a local restaurant and still comes into the centre early every evening as it reduces their isolation and gives them a little respite which seems to allow them to be able to face the day. The centre staff have also supported NT to refurbish their flat, using social media to ask the community for donations of household items.
NT continues to access counselling sessions at the centre which is helping them to address inappropriate relationships, their emotional and mental well-being, and the lack of other support networks in their life.
The centre staff ensure that the care package around NT is individually tailored to their changing needs. They also provide advocacy for any meetings with housing or GP reviews, and support NT to access weekly food parcels to help them adjust to living independently.