Building positive relationships is at the core of our work; without a trusting relationship between the young person and their case worker, a positive outcome is much harder to achieve and can take significantly more time whilst that trust is built.

This is because, many of the young people we work with face multiple barriers such as poor mental health or unemployment; they might come from an ethnic minority background, possess refuge or asylum seeker status, experience a lack of housing or live in sub-standard conditions. Key to our success then, is building those trusting relationships so we might remove those barriers. This allows us to address their individual needs and in turn enables our young people to flourish. 

In 2021, our online and face-to-face work combined, including the work of our sub-contractors, meant we worked with 7,404 young people. Of these, 1,028 young people regularly attended our small groups which work with LGBTQIA+ youth, Young carers, asylum seekers and refugees or young Somali women. Our face-to-face work alone meant we engaged with 3,394 young people from seldom heard, disadvantaged and under-represented groups. In conclusion we achieved the following outcomes for these groups: 

young people we worked with both online and offline to achieve positive outcomes 




Lizzie helped me find my place in the LGBT+ community

When Targeted Youth Worker Lizzie first started working with Aidan he was living at home with his grandparents, who were concerned about his anti-social behaviour. When Aidan’s grandparents found him looking at gay content online they took away his phone, his laptop, and reported to his school that he’d been accessing inappropriate websites.

When I first started seeing my youth worker, Lizzie, I wasn’t allowed access to my phone or the internet, I also wasn’t allowed to attend out of school activities. I felt trapped in my own home. I was without friends, and in isolation for my behaviour at school.

"I felt powerless, so I reacted by lashing out. I thought nobody would understand what it was like to be gay in a strict household. Luckily, I had Lizzie to talk to each week. This gave me the hope I needed. I couldn’t trust any of the other adults in my life, but I knew Lizzie wanted to help me.

 Lizzie encouraged me to be honest with my friends about my situation, which resulted in one of them helping me to set up an Instagram account on their phone which I can use during lunch breaks. This helps me to feel less like I’m missing out.

I felt nervous to tell my friends that I was gay, my grandparents would not approve, so I didn’t think my friends would either. Lizzie helped me build enough confidence to join an LGBT+ group in school where I started to realise that being LGBT was not a negative thing and met lots of other people like me.

On the days I see my mum, she lets me go to youth sessions so that I can talk to people my age. She’s also been worried that I was isolating myself so she’s happy to see me being excited again. The sessions I have been going to with Creative Youth Network have changed my life."

I can finally be open about my sexuality, and I’ve found a space where I can be entirely ME.

We’re really glad that his school have seen a big change in Aidan’s behaviour and attitude. He’s now attending youth sessions and is still in contact with his targeted youth worker Lizzie, to get the support he needs. Aidan is now smiling and we couldn’t be more proud of his confidence.

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