What is Youth Outreach?

Youth outreach is when youth workers take to the streets to get new young people involved with their services and to try and spread the word to as many people as possible. 

We believe this is crucial in the work we do. Not all young people hear about the opportunities that are available to them through their school or from their local community. That's why we want to reach out and let them know that we are here to offer them support when they need it. 

The Station is also an ever-changing place. It is defined by the young people who use it at any given time. That's why we want to invite new young people to come along and make it their own. All the activities we run, we organise with young people. This shows confidence in their ability to decide what's best for them and it also guarantees that The Station is youth led, giving young people a place to have their voice heard.

Outreach helps us raise awareness of the options and services available for young people: space to have fun, be themselves and receive support when they need it.

Last Saturday the four of us spoke with about 50 groups of young people. Although the reaction we received was varied, we had lots of positive involvement. In fact, we were being assessed and have since been told that 20% of the people we talked to actually got involved with Creative Youth Network afterwards. - Marcus, Youth Worker

When is it happening?

From this week moving forward our youth workers are going into Bristol City Centre and connecting with young people to let them know about The Station, their central youth hub. They're hoping to spread their net wider and include areas such as Castle Park, College Green and Queen's Square, to involve as many people as possible.

Our Saturday sessions from 3-5pm will be open to all newcomers and we encourage you to come along, discover the youth centre and help re-imagine it into your own space.

Join us for casual fun, listen to music, have a go at karaoke, play some riffs on a guitar. You could even win some free pizza!

The Importance of Non-Targeted Work 

A lot of the funding youth work receives is too often aimed at specific groups, rather than youth as a whole. We recognise the importance of targeted work and run sessions for young people with specific needs. Welcome Wednesday is our session for refugees and asylum seekers, and we also run small project groups for men and women where young people work through issues with youth workers. 

However, we believe it's important to build a sense of community in Bristol and give all young people access to our services, no matter their needs. This is where our outreach programmes come in. We're aiming to connect with as many young people as possible, from all backgounds.

Working with young people as early as possible means we are there for them every step of the way. This often prevents anti-social behaviour, the development of ill mental health or joining unsafe peer groups. 

This work is more cost effective, as it's possible in a group environment, rather than the intensive one to one support needed when they develop further.

I consider the work we did last Saturday to be a success. Not only did we get lots of new people involved, but we helped to raise awareness of who we are and what we do. Reaching out to young people and not only waiting for them to come to us is very important. Over time, we'll be able to build a relationship with young people we talk to and make ourselves even more accessible. - Marcus (Youth Worker)

Partnership Work 

Youth work is, by its very nature, collaborative. We work closely with many partners and as a result, any young people we engage with gain access to a wide variety of other services as well. This allows us to meet all the different needs young people have, either ourselves, or by referring them to one of our partners.

Here at The Station we have Off The Record, a mental health charity, Brook, a sexual health clinic, Basement Studios, a youth and music charity, and many more. For full details about our partners please check out our Partners page. 

Local Leadership 

Our Station youth work team is part of Bristol Youth Links, Bristol City Council's programme for high quality, safe and reliable services in Bristol for children and young people aged 8-19.

Being commissioned by the City Council means our sessions are closely monitored. We deliver quarterly reports and monitor our outcomes closely. Assessors come in on scheduled and unscheduled visits, making sure that our work is of the highest standard. We also have a group of young people who assess the service and give suggestions for new ways to further engage with young people.

We’ve recently received feedback from our commissioners and we're proud that they have recognised: 

  • Our consistent strong sense of youth participation and the real strong sense of responding to the needs of all young people.
  • Our recognition of the complex needs of young people we work with in open access and one to one.

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