Throughout May we are ‘Talking Teens’ at our Check In and Chat online sessions. In our first session of the month we were pleased to welcome Mark Hughes from HCC’s Services for Young People.
Services for Young People is part of Hertfordshire County Council and provides youth work projects, information, advice, guidance, work-related learning and wider support for young people in Hertfordshire. The core age group they work with is young people aged 13-17 although some services and projects expand down to 11 or up to 24.
Of particular interest to the Check In and Chat Group were the early intervention and prevention projects they run – especially around mental health and emotional wellbeing.
They also run specific projects for young people aged 13-24 with learning difficulties and autism. Personal advisors in the team can offer impartial information, advice and guidance on their post-16 options such as further education, training, employment and independent living.
They run many projects focused on developing communication, interpersonal skills, relationships and independent living skills.
Their centres have life skills kitchens for example where young people can learn about cooking, shopping, budgeting, personal safety and safety in the home in a safe and secure environment. These centres often also have music studios and sports halls where young people can collaborate with others on specific projects.
Although we chatted to Mark for an hour it felt as if we had only scratched the surface of the opportunities available through Services for Young People. They work across such a large and diverse range of projects it really is worth taking some time to take a look at their website and see if anything in their offering could potentially help your children and young people either now or with an eye to the future.
You can self-refer. Mark advised when self-referring to think about what outcomes you want to achieve from the referral and what tangible difference the service could make – this will help them better help your young people.
Our participants found today’s Check in and Chat “interesting”, “useful” and “informative”. It was also a good reminder to really try and prioritise our own emotional wellbeing.
Many thanks to Mark for taking the time to come and talk to our group.