A Message from Jenifer Cameron
Buckinghamshire Council will soon launch its Early Help Strategy, a revised approach to addressing the needs of children, young people and adults who are at a time in their lives when they need extra, possibly specialist, support. The crucial bit of this is that need is identified early so that help can be provided before problems become more complex and deeper rooted. A simple example of this could be a youth club volunteer spotting that one of their young people’s behaviour has changed, they may be withdrawn or showing signs of neglect. If that youth worker can notify the right source of support quickly, then a problem, which could be a parent suffering from poor mental health or other health problems, can be addressed.
Our sector, comprising charities, voluntary and community organisations, has a big and important part to play in Early Help, partly by being the eyes and ears of the community looking out for, and referring on, the signs that something has changed for the worse. We already play an important role in directly offering support services to our beneficiaries. At Action4Youth we offer counselling and mentoring as well as some more specialist interventions and we know that very many of our member organisations offer a range of support services.
In the coming weeks we will be contacting all of our member organisations to ask about the services they offer which contribute to Early Help and we will then collate responses to share with the Council so they can understand all that is available across the county and we can then work to ensure the optimum flow of information between services to ensure those who need help get it quickly and effectively. This is a real opportunity for joined up partnership working between our sector and the statutory partners which will genuinely support the community and is a really encouraging sign that agencies are actively developing new and valuable partnerships.
In March The Junction welcomed many young people and we had over 1,200 visits. Next week, The Junction will be hosting the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) running from April 12th to April 22nd. There will be cooking session, boxing, Talking Tuesdays, music, movie night, outdoor sport and many more.
The young people have been keen to share their experiences at The Junction. Here are some comments from the young people
“Its fun and I like to hangout with friends. Everyone is nice and likes playing table tennis”
Nice place to chill out”
“I like using the internet, eating food and socialising with the staff”
“I like the safe environment, boxing, socialising and talking to the staff”
We’d also like to welcome our new Deputy Manager Paul to the team. Paul brings a wealth of experience working in Youth Centres and in the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Counselling @ The Junction
Most young people go through difficult and challenging times at some points of their lives. Therapy can be very effective in helping through life’s challenges.
Some young people may have experienced trauma in their lives and may be living with negative and debilitating thoughts and emotions. Others may feel anxious or depressed, or feel disconnected from friends, family or education. Additionally, some individuals describe a lack of purpose in life and a lack of enjoyment in everyday life. Some young people who approach counselling/therapy have addiction problems, anger issues or may have suffered a recent loss or bereavement.
There are many reasons young people come to counselling and there is no limit to what can be discussed in therapy. Seeking help from a qualified therapist and counsellor can assist you to explore thoughts and emotions and make sense of why you are thinking and feeling a certain way.
At the Junction, we offer professional support to young people aged 12-18 to help them through everyday challenges. The support can be provided through counselling sessions over a few weeks, of just as a drop-in. Feel free to get in touch with us to know more about how we can support you.
Our March NCS ‘Changemakers’ session was a great hit, with 27 young people joining the team at Climb Quest in Milton Keynes and testing their nerve on all things high, including the drop-zone, climbing walls and climbing poles! What a way to reminisce some of our NCS activities. The Changemaker’s team meet up every month, planning and completing different sessions, including Social Action Projects, Team-building and helping the local community. If you’re interested in joining us next month, please just contact the team on [email protected], and the best part is, you don’t even have to have completed NCS to join us!
Speaking of great opportunities, we still have some summer seasonal roles on our NCS programme this year, so if you are interested in being an Assistant Team Leader or Team Leader, please email [email protected]. Applicants must be 18 years of age.
The Inspiration Programme
I feel privileged to carry out the work I do, going into schools and working directly with young people. I am seeing them all start to improve their aspirations as well as confidence, communication and teamwork.
I have been seeing 149 young people each week in a variety of schools across the county. They are gaining valuable employability skills and information from the sessions.
This month we have had a talk from the founder of Borras Construction who motivated the young people in their thinking that anything is possible in life. They discussed opportunities for careers in the construction industry and pathways into those careers.
We visited College Lake and discovered many of our young people don’t get to go outside and explore much in their own environments. They appreciated the walk for its mental health and well-being benefits but also volunteering opportunities. They were amazed by the birdsong and the wildlife. It was good to sit and chat over an ice lolly at the end of our walk before the coach home.
We had a volunteering session at Lindengate where the group made a bark chipping pathway to help others volunteering to access the compost bins more easily as it was wet and muddy. This group valued the opportunity to be outside learning and taking part in the activity and see the fruits of their labour. It was good to achieve something.
We were lucky to have Aidan from Aila recruitment providing the groups with a session on what employers want and CV guidance. From his social media posts, we have had further interest from businesses offering opportunities to our young people.
The Caldecotte Xperience
The Caldecotte Xperience runs a range of great adventure clubs throughout the year for children and young people of all ages and abilities.
If you’ve ever wanted to try a different activity under the guidance of experienced instructors, our holiday clubs could be what you’re looking for.
Adventure Days 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd April 2022 – Click here
Holiday Adventure Courses 19th – 22nd April 2022 – Click here
The Caldecotte Xperience – DofE
Last month, 46 participants from Sir Thomas Freemantle took part in a bronze Duke of Edinburgh programme. The groups set off from Little Gaddesen, on a two day expedition, covering 30 kilometers over two days.
All participants had to carry their equipment to camp for one night including stoves, food and tents. When they reached the campsite, the teams cooked a meal rich in carbohydrates to give them energy for the next day.
Another group from Sir Thomas Freemantle took part in a canoe expedition.
New Team Member
It is with great pleasure to introduce our new team member. Please join us in welcoming Holly to the team!
Holly Meek – Youth Mentor – Aylesbury Vale
Employee of the Month
We’d like to congratulate Jan Knight for winning employee of the month in March. Jan was nominated for being “for helping me with everything from inductions to laptops” & “always very helpful and ready to jump in to help at a moments notice”.