29 February 2012
A counselling service for young people has tripled the number of users in 3 years.
The latest report from the Youth Enquiry Service (YES), which is run by the Jersey Youth Service and the Jersey Youth Trust, shows it had 410 visitors to its La Motte Street drop-in centre in 2009, rising to 1,239 in 2011.
YES includes a free, confidential counselling service called 1:2:1, which is open to anyone aged 14-25, and a website offering advice on a range of subjects that affect young people. These include housing, employment, emotional and sexual health, drugs, alcohol and finance. Young clients can drop in, make an appointment, phone or go online to get help.
The chair of the Jersey Youth Trust, Jaci Graham, said “The service has acquired a growing reputation for its professionalism, friendly and helpful staff and for confidentiality. This has increased awareness among young people and professionals of the benefits of this project.”
YES is run by senior youth worker Vicki Twohig and staffed by 3 part-time sessional youth workers who open the service for 15 hours a week. There are also 4 counsellors who work flexibly when required.
Ms Twohig said “Young people who are navigating their way from child to independent adult can feel anxious and uncertain about a whole range of issues. Our clients tell us this is a much-needed service. YES is a place where they are not judged and they feel safe and comfortable to talk about the things they do not want to discuss with anyone else.”
YES is now aiming to raise sufficient funds to employ an assistant youth worker, so that opening hours can be increased to make the service available to more young people. If the YES team are unable to answer a query or deal with an issue they will refer a young person to an agency that can help.
“I believe this service is essential and will only continue to grow. There will always be young people who need support and we want to be able to offer the best possible quality of service to them.” added Vicki.