Imagine This… celebrates Youth Work Week 2023

Young people across Torbay are getting a special mention as part of the national Youth Work Week celebration, from 6-12 November, which this year is focussing on youth work taking place in a range of different places and spaces.

The annual Youth Work Week event, hosted by the National Youth Agency, aims to raise awareness of the life-changing difference youth workers have on young people aged between 8 –25 years of age. This year Youth Work Week focuses on the breadth of youth work taking place across the country: in youth centres, hospitals, outdoor activity centres, cultural spaces and so much more.

Youth Work Week is a chance to raise awareness of the difference youth work makes to young people, providing them with somewhere to go, something fun to do, the chance to make new friends, learn new skills and receive the support of a trusted adult.

In the wake of the pandemic and with the ongoing cost of living crisis causing further decline in young people’s mental health youth workers are essential in offering vital support focused on young people’s personal wellbeing, emotional health and help improving social skills, providing a safe space for young people where they can thrive and develop.

Imagine This… is a lottery-funded partnership in Torbay, celebrating and supporting voluntary sector youth provision in our three towns. Our partners work tirelessly through the year, working with young people in the community and meeting young people where they are.

Youth sessions are offered in our community centres, such as the Windmill Centre, the Acorn Centre, Great Parks and the Crafty Fox in Foxhole, with new groups being developed where funding allows.

YMCA South Devon has recently launched a youth group in Goodrington, with a focus on wellbeing. Having just opened its doors, it regularly welcomes 15 young people to its weekly session.

Maria Goodwin, YMCA South Devon CEO, said “We’re so pleased to have developed our new youth group and to create a safe space for young people to meet, socialise and learn about ways to support their own wellbeing.”

Imagine This… has a Youth Council made up of local young people helping steer the direction of the Partnership. Rebekah Dawes, who is part of Doorstep Arts and sits on the Youth Council, said: “Partners in Torbay are doing such incredible work. I’ve become dedicated to ensuring other young people know that these wonderful services and organisations are there for them!”

Partners from Imagine This… are working together to tackle five key challenges that young people gave them to work on to make Torbay a better place to grow up and are working with young people to find solutions to issues such as climate change, how to make our streets feel safer, how to create more safe spaces for young people, how to support young people with additional needs and how to combat stress and anxiety.

Liz Muir from Torbay Communities said: “As part of National Youth Work Week, Imagine This… are celebrating the incredible young people we work with across the Imagine This Partnership, and the youth support that our partners offer across the Bay.”