Communities come together to fund youth workers

JPCT 010313 Youth workers, HDC offices. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 010313 Youth workers, HDC offices. Photo by Derek Martin

Over the next few weeks the council is looking at the five neighbourhood and parish clusters that are working together to provide new important and valued community youth work.

One cluster is Storrington and Sullington, where the parish council has chosen to pursue a slightly different route in that it will be funding a community youth worker on a part time basis to work exclusively in the parish.

Parish councillor Lisa Wheatley said: “The parish council feels that our youth worker will have the unique opportunity to plan a range of tangible, activity based events tailored to the needs of the local community rather than a more generic plan which caters for a number of different areas.

“Consulting with local youths to ascertain their views is a key element in making sure that the services we provide accurately address their needs.

“The parish council will work closely with our community youth worker to provide a range of activities and events that realise the potential of these young people, giving them the support they need to develop the necessary confidence and life skills to help them now and in the future.”

The Storrington Area youth worker will be working with young people aged between ten and 19 years of age, and will also be working with others in the community in order to understand the feeling of the community with regard to its needs/attitude to young people.

Over the first three months, the youth worker will be getting to know the area as well as the young people and other residents in the area.

It is hoped that the young people in the area will feel more supported and there will be more opportunities created for young people as the community gets more involved in volunteering and helping out.

The other Neighbourhood and Parish Clusters in the Horsham district are: Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold & Warnham, Horsham Area, Steyning, Ashurst, Bramber & Upper Beeding, and Billingshurst & Pulborough.

Each cluster is funding the employment of full-time and substantial part-time community youth workers to support local young people.

The clusters have a shared vision ‘to enable and empower local young people to make informed, positive lifestyle choices, which promote active, healthy, holistic, safe and social lives’.

The new community youth work provision has been realised thanks to significant partnership working, supported by Horsham District Council.

Sue Rogers (Con, Steyning), HDC’s cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, said: “It is great to see that this parish council is working hard to provide such valuable and worthwhile youth work for the District’s young people.”

West Sussex County Council’s Youth Support Development Service is continuing to offer intensive and target support to young people with a range of complex needs. 

For more information about this new community youth work call Clare Ebelewicz, senior youth and older persons officer at HDC, who is supporting the clusters to develop their own community youth work, on 01403 215137 or email