What are we doing to support our young people we hear you ask since Open Mic, Drumming sessions and D2U stopped last year?
We have increased our work and funding with local charity Whitton Youth Partnership (WYP). This way we can ensure that we reach more young people and more varied opportunities are provided, supported by a highly experienced youth worker and his team. Many of you will know Andy Fell from his work over the years in our community through the council but when that funding ceased and youth clubs stopped as a result, Andy returned to working for the community that he knows so well via Whitton Youth Partnership.
Who are Whitton Youth Partnership and where do they operate in our community of NW Ipswich?
Whitton Youth Partnership is a registered charity (no. 1155594), which was launched in 2014 to provide much needed services for socially and economically disadvantaged children & young people living, attending school or hanging out in the Whitton, Whitehouse & the Castle Hill areas of Ipswich, Suffolk.
Our aim is to help children & young people be safe, happy, aspirational, resilient, and able to make positive changes in their own lives and in their communities
WYP have provided some activities that have been funded or part funded by NWIBLT as part of an extended youth work agreement. These were ideas formulated between the Young Persons sub group of NWIBLT based upon what the community tell us & Jim at WYP:
- Youth Worker: it was agreed to extend our contribution to the youth worker Andy Fell, he is continuing his excellent work with our young people and his contact has been extended to 2020
- The Who’s in Charge Parenting Programmes: NWIBLT funded the 2018 programme which had 29 families who had been put forward by various agencies, there was a drop off but they had 15 families attending the 8 weekly sessions with great progress being made by the families attending
- Single Gender work – work with young men and young women is underway. The Young Men’s creative session being run as part of our Youth Hub work once per week until December, looking at music and photography will now be extended to run further sessions from January. This will link into our single gender work generally and we hope to begin some young women’s work this year as this group is proving more difficult to engage with. One of the great success stories from this is a young man now becoming a trainee youth worker with WYP and he has been instrumental in the success of the Young man’s group. The young woman group is progressing more slowly but more work around this will be done in 2019
- D2U will hopefully be back up and running soon with a session worker helping Andy Fell facilitate the sessions
- Duke of Edinburgh award scheme: The scheme in it’s current format had it’s funding from Suffolk County Council withdrawn as a cost cutting measure. Andy Fell is in negotiations with lead officers from the council on this. WYP have held information sessions for young people and parents looking to be involved in the scheme.
- Christmas Craft and play session was held over the festive period with funding from NWIBLT
Other WYP work
- Junior Youth Club. This free club runs every Tuesday from 3.30p.m. and has restarted for the spring term. It will run now for the rest of the year.
- Our free Movie Club continues to run one Saturday per month.
- Holiday play activity days – provided free of charge. Our Christmas activity day was held on 20th December 2018, this was craft orientated with Christmas items being made as well the usual games being played. Again a great time was held by all, with a production line set up by the young people, to provide all who sat down for a hot meal with a homemade Christmas cracker. Again it was 36 young people actively engaged in a warm and safe environment with a hot meal provided all free of charge.
- As part of our Youth Hub work plans are proceeding our senior youth club for those over 13 later this year
- Detached youth work has been undertaken in response to the drugs/knife issues in the town plus work around the Castle Court/Garrick Way area where considerable anti-social behaviour has occurred. 18 sessions of 3 hrs each were worked (54 hrs in total). This resulted in 102 contacts with children / young people – contact is a meaningful conversation. There were also 30 non-contact – no meaningful conversation. 132 contacts in total with 48 individual young people of which there were 16 consistent – seen more than three times. Help, advice and signposting were given and the young people listened to. Some of the work outlined above will hopefully attract some of these young people to engage further.
World War One Exhibition and “Experience Remembrance “event for schools
This event was held in November over four days plus two services over the weekend of 10/11th November. Happy to report that it was a very successful week of events with six local schools taking part along with various uniformed organisations in the “Experience Remembrance” event, attendance at a special service on the Thursday on Christchurch Park, or in Whitton Churchyard. Hundreds of local people also visited the exhibition which received very good feedback with people still commenting on it.
NWIBLT will also soon have Learning Support sessions operating by Mal Pearson and a team of specialists for children needed that little bit extra support to thrive.