Horsham’s Youth Information Shop marked its 20th anniversary in a special event at the Y Centre.
Around six 15 to 16 year olds from Tanbridge House School who have been closely involved with the development of the service over the past year were invited back to the YMCA to take part in a feedback session and for the opportunity to see the response to their earlier recommendations.
They provided further feedback on the arrangement of the dedicated space at the Y Centre and ideas for promoting the service, now rebranded to ‘Find it Out’, to schools at a meeting that included county councillors, YMCA management and the centre’s staff.
Jude Day, team manager of Find it Out and the Intensive Support Team at West Sussex County Council, said: “The most important thing about the Find it Out Centre is that it’s for all young people aged 13-25.
“It’s a very big age range run for everyone because we bring in lots of services here.”
She added: “We are trying to marry up two different things: the young people that come here and the young people that live here - that’s why it’s really important to hear everyone.”
Discussing visits to Year 7 assemblies, Matt Crompton, 15, said: “Doing the same idea with Year 8s and 9s would be better.”
Katie Ellis, 16, of Horsham, on the careers service, said: “This is the sort of age where you start thinking what I’m supposed to do now?”
Josh Trout, 16, of Horsham, added: “We like the stuff you did on tax.
“We thought that was really good because it’s something not taught at school and you’re just expected to pick up.”
A YMCA resident suggested better enforcement of shared areas between users and residents of the centre.
A week ahead of the event, four 15-year-old members of the student group, Sam Waller and Eva White of Horsham, and Matt Crompton and Marisa Rufolo of Southwater, expressed why the service was important to them.
Eva said: “It’s important because a lot of people will be able to use it for the future - for work, health advice from the nurse there and career advice was a big point.”
The group presented research in the county council chambers last December.
George Cockman (Ind, Ashurst and Steyning) said: “I remain a year later still massively impressed by the work they did.”
He added: “If we learn anything from this is that we need to listen to young people’s thoughts.
“I hope this will be a very good example.”