The detached partnership project with Avon and Somerset Police started in April into May with the aim to support all young people but particularly those that are hard to reach, who may have additional support needs and are isolated.

In this period we delivered 20 detached sessions, 60 hours of detached support for young people across Mendip Villages and Towns which were identified by the Police to enhance their delivery to support young people and to ensure that they are safe.

Young Somerset staff and local PCSO’S from Frome, Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury and Street, visit recreational spaces such as, skate parks and local shops which are areas that young people tend to congregate. Young people gave a great response and where open to talking to staff about what they have been doing and any concerns that they have, which gives evidence that young people need additional support in theses testing times.

Since June, Young Somerset staff have been working in independent teams across Somerset covering ten villages and towns;

Wellington, North Petherton, Woolavington, Frome, Wells, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury, Bridgwater, Chard and Yeovil.

We have developed a professional and trusting relationship with the local PCSO’s which has been kindly  coordinated by Amanda Johnson Youth Project Coordinator  - Somerset and North Somerset Interventions Team, Neighbourhoods and Partnerships Directorate.

This has enabled us to identify hot spots and any targeted work for each area.

We have taken the opportunity to develop joint working approach to obtain an holistic support group for young people, we currently work alongside, Frome YMCA, Elm Connect Centre, Wells, Glastonbury, Frome, North Petherton councils and Youth Unlimited Taunton.

Within three weeks of delivery in June we have spoken with 124 individual young people, aged 10 to 18 years a good majority have been males with a ratio of approximately 80/20.

Young people have reported that they are concerned about lack of current and future work, increase in public transport fares, lack of knowledge about when colleges will re-open.

Other conversation topics cover , home schooling which most are happy about, although those who are with PRU’s found home schooling more challenging.

Relationships and trust elements when meeting friends, parents and carers concerns about social distancing. We found that in general most young people where taking seriously and understood the risks. However some were reminded that sharing sports equipment and drinks could put them and others at a higher risk.

The closures of skate parks had a big impact in particular on males health, one parent reported that his son is Autistic and lockdown has had a dramatic affect on his behaviour at home, his passion is skate boarding and no other exercise would absorb his need. His Dad told us that this was there first trip to a skate park in 12 weeks, they travelled from Yeovil to Glastonbury as this was the only one that they could find that had reopened. The smiles on this young mans face was a picture and he didn’t even mind when he fell over, this was a part of the experience, dad was very happy too.

Young Somerset staff have been able to sign post young people to alternative virtual sessions, which covers youth based issues, fun games,  fitness classes, well-being sessions and self-referrals to well-being practitioners.

Silhouette of children play soccer football Free Photo