Youth volunteers on patrol in Horsham Park

The Youth Support Team who will patrol Horsham Park to help young people this summer
The Youth Support Team who will patrol Horsham Park to help young people this summer

TRAINED volunteer youth workers will be on hand in Horsham Park again this year to provide support to young people and listen to issues.

The Youth Support Team (YST), which has been operating since the summer of 2006, is a multi agency project run jointly by Horsham District Council, West Sussex County Council (Youth Support and Development Service), the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership, Horsham Parish Church and Horsham Matters.

The YST aims to provide advice and information to young people as well as increase their awareness of the support networks available to them.

Sue Rogers, Horsham District Council’s Cabinet Member for a Safer & Healthier District, said: “This is an extremely worthwhile and valuable initiative, combining safeguarding with advice and education for our young people.”

Teams of trained volunteers work with up to 100 young people who sometimes gather in Horsham Park and other parks in the Horsham area on Friday nights.

YST volunteers can be easily identified by their branded clothing and they are equipped with useful contact numbers as well as first aid kits, mobile phones and torches.

The volunteer workers, who give up their Friday nights to the project, are fully trained, CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked and range in age from 20 to 50 and provide a wealth of information.

Teams engage with young people on issues that matter to them with a view to giving advice, support and sign-posting to other agencies.

Popular topics of conversation include education, drugs, alcohol and health.

It is hoped that the YST workers’ presence will raise awareness of safety and reduce the fear of crime, together with a greater awareness of socially acceptable behaviour.

For more information about the project or to volunteer, please call Judi Cox, Horsham Youth Support Team Leader, on 01403 210207.