A group of young people from the National Citizen Service (NCS) has been taking part in an Apprentice-style challenge to help shape a new initiative to increase youth safety in Adur and Worthing.
After first hearing a presentation from Sophie Whitehouse, Adur & Worthing Councils’ Lead for Early Help & Wellbeing, about youth safety and exploitation, the ten 16-year-olds from Worthing were split into groups and set a challenge to develop a logo and branding for a new website. They were also invited to share ideas about what they would like to see on the website to help them to spot the signs of exploitation and keep themselves and their friends safe.
The volunteers were recruited by Brighton-based organisation Concordia as part of the NCS’s Keep Doing Good programme to encourage young people – aged 15 to 17 – to support their communities through volunteering and social action following the COVID lockdown.
Victor Petersson, Volunteer Manager for Concordia said:
“The young people really enjoyed taking part in the session and came up with many great ideas including how they can contribute to making the area they live in a safer place. We’re looking forward to seeing how the ideas from this project are turned into reality.”
The youth safety initiative, which launches this Autumn, is part of Adur & Worthing Councils’ wider programme for tackling youth exploitation. It is being delivered in partnership with Arun District Council with funding from West Sussex County Council’s Violence Reduction Unit.
Cllr Val Turner, Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing for Worthing, said:
“This has been a really exciting opportunity to capture youth voices in our community and hear first hand what it’s like to be a young person living in Worthing today. By drawing on their experiences we can develop a programme that will be right for the young people we seek to engage with.”
Cllr Dave Simmons, Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing for Adur, said:
“Using a model of co-design, we have been getting to the heart of what young people need to help them stay safe and well.”
Mark Rogers, Divisional Director (South) at the National Citizen Service Trust, said:
“NCS’s Keep Doing Good programme has enabled local young people to put their skills to good use post-lockdown, and has helped them to support their communities in these challenging times. It’s really encouraging to see Adur & Worthing Councils promote youth voices and actively involve teenagers in important decisions. Too often young people feel that they are powerless to make a difference and taking part in NCS is a great way to give them a platform to make a positive change in their local areas.”
Young people can find out more about the NCS at wearencs.com.