Councillor Adam Breacher, Horsham District Council’s deputy cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, recently took the chance to accompany youth workers out with the Snack Wagon.
The Snack Wagon is a joint service provided by Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council.
It is a mobile youth provision vehicle that enables valuable youth work to take place in a number of locations across the Horsham District.
It acts as an informal meeting place for young people, where they can seek advice on certain issues, for example sexual health, the effects of alcohol or a place where they can just relax, have something to eat and drink and discuss any issues that may concern them.
Adam Breacher gives his take on his experience.
He said: “On July 26, I had the opportunity to see, first hand, the Snack Wagon in use.
“I accompanied a group of dedicated youth workers as they focused their evening’s work in Horsham Park in Horsham. The youth workers included: Clare Ebelewicz, Tracey Greening, Susan Foran, Tim Wilkins and Jo Brewster (Young Persons Alcohol Worker).
“As soon as we arrived in Horsham Park, young people began to make their way over to us. The team were automatically recognised by some of the young people, and it was evident that they had built up a strong rapport with them.
“This was noticeable by the interaction I witnessed through the evening. They would discuss everyday issues, career opportunities, join in with activities or set the young people activities to carry out.
“An activity that one of the youth workers (Jo Brewster) set them was to make them aware of the effects of alcohol. This involved setting them the task of measuring out single beer, wine, spirits and Alco pops. They were very surprised by the amount of units in each drink and how each alcoholic drink varied in strength.
“Offering food and drink (kindly donated by Horsham Sainsbury’s supermarket) gave the young people a relaxed atmosphere to sit down and discuss any worries or concerns that they had in their lives.
“To witness for myself what some of these young people had already been through in their lives was very upsetting.
“Through no fault of their own they had been in situations that I could never imagine going through myself. The youth workers gave them the opportunity to talk about their current circumstances and where their lives could go from then on. They could assist them with career advice, health information, and most importantly of all, someone to talk to!
“I would like to thank the youth workers on the Snack Wagon for the dedication and the support they give our young people in the district. I will certainly be accompanying them and the Snack Wagon again soon.”
For more information on the Snack Wagon, contact Clare Ebelewicz, senior youth and older persons officer at Horsham District Council, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01403 215137.