Youth support services
We provide a wide range of support and opportunities for disadvantaged or vulnerable young people mainly aged 10 to 19 years (up to 25 for young people with additional needs), including young people:
- In the criminal justice system, involved in anti-social behaviour or victims of crime
- Who go missing from home or care or are at risk of sexual exploitation
- Who are looked after or are young carers
- Who are leaving care
- In need of early help or preventative support
- Who need information, advice or support on personal, social and health matters
- Requiring support with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
- Who need coaching support in key life transitions
- Accessing positive activities and youth work support in the community
We cater for all young people's needs. For example, those who:
- Want to attend a youth club
- Want to gain an award outside school
- May be at risk of dropping out of school
- May be at risk of getting into crime
- Are in serious difficulty and may require social work input and family work
Youth Work in Wandsworth offers fun but educational activities, including trips and residentials, which allow young people to try out new things, stretch their horizons and make new friends. Challenge, aspiration and opportunity are key to what we do.
At our youth clubs you will find music and recording, dance, drama, arts and crafts, sports and sports tournaments, IT, and lots of workshops and discussion groups on subjects relevant to teenagers.
Most clubs are open term time in the evenings and some weekends, but we also run day time programmes during school holidays.
All our clubs are accessible to young people with special needs but we also have a specialist disability youth centre, George Shearing.
Many of our centres run short courses leading to certificates or accreditation which recognise what young people achieve through youth work.
Connexions education and employment
The Connexions team provides the information and advice young people need to make decisions and choices in life.
This is for young people aged 10 to 19 years old (or up to 25 years old if they have a learning difficulty, disability or special need).
Personal advisors provide specialist careers guidance and can give practical support in the following areas:
- Job vacancies
- Careers advice
- Courses and training
- Benefits and personal finance
- Family, social and other personal issues.
Connexions personal advisors are also linked to our secondary schools for one day per week to work with young people who are at risk of becoming excluded, or who may need additional support to keep them focused on their school goals.
Youth crime prevention
We also cover youth crime prevention and work connected to serious youth violence including gangs. This is delivered by BEIT (Borough Early Intervention Team) and a small 'gangs' team as well as through our detached youth work teams.
BEIT work with young people throughout the borough who need support to prevent them from entering the criminal justice system. The team works alongside different agencies both within Wandsworth Council and outside agencies to help support, mentor and guide young people away from the current lifestyle they may be living.
The BEIT team run workshops in schools, youth centres, PRUs and other establishments where young people are. The subjects they cover are current and relevant to young peoples' needs and challenges. The BEIT team also run projects within the borough to help young people gain a skill, unlock a talent and to achieve something from a bespoke piece of work.
BEIT get referrals for one-to-one support via the police when they issue an out of court disposal to a young person, or from the Early help pathway team at the Council.
The Youth Work Service and BEIT carry out 'targeted' work with young people in need of additional support through one-to-one and group work.
This includes working with young people who have committed their first crime and are referred to us by the Police.
IYSS has a participation worker who runs the borough wide Youth Council and offers training and support to services on involving young people in decision-making. Young people get involved in user forums, staff recruitment, service planning and commissioning and lots of other projects.
We also run the Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) through which young people can put in applications for grants which are assessed by panels of other young people.
The annual Young Person of the Year award is run with the Trustees.
Other cross-borough programmes
There are several other cross-borough programmes covering specialist disability work, programme co-ordination and substance misuse.
Community development and delivery
The effectiveness of our services relies on strong relationships with other services, for example:
- Schools and colleges
- Health including mental health and sexual health services
- Local voluntary sector.
Some of these services are aligned to the locality youth and youth support teams, such as housing workers and workers from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
We also offer a link social worker to all local secondary schools.
Telephone: 020 8871 7585
Fax: 020 8871 7585