MP says”Prevention of crime is very important and it is good to see a local charity and volunteers getting such impressive results with younger offenders” when T2A project was visited by Harriett Baldwin MP, Barrie Sheldon and Eric Wood, Deputy PCC’s

“Transition to Adulthood project changing young adults’ lives”

 

“Powerful  and empowering” were comments from our VIP’s on hearing young people’s views on some of the issues they face and how YSS’s Transition to Adulthood (T2A) project has helped them and in some cases their partners too. The successful engagement with YSS key workers  was a clear factor in achieving improvements in their lives. Harriett Baldwin MP commented: “It makes so much sense to work with younger offenders to try to address the problems that might lead to reoffending.” “Prevention of crime is very important and it is good to see a local charity and volunteers getting such impressive results with younger offenders.”

Barrie Sheldon , Deputy PCC West Mercia commented “The Police and Crime Commissioner is fully supportive of the work being done in West Mercia to shape better lives for young people caught up in the Criminal Justice System and Care Farms such as the Fold are providing a key service to communities.”

 

YSS is an independent charity with over 25 years experience of providing community based support services for children, young people, adults and families who are vulnerable, have complex needs and who face difficult life challenges. Their “Transition to Adulthood” (T2A) pilot project in West Mercia, funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust, works intensively with 16 – 24 year olds in the criminal justice system.

David Andrewartha, acting Pathways Team Manager YSS, and T2A Keyworkers Alison Steedman and Gabriel Hyde, together with 4 young adults using the service gave the opportunity for the MP to hear first-hand some of the experiences of the young adults T2A works with. A lively discussion on their experiences, where they have now found accommodation, what jobs they are applying for, what part time courses they are looking at, difficulties in accessing full time courses if receiving Job Seekers Allowance, the reduction in youth clubs/ things for young people to do that are not expensive and transport  issues  were a few of the topics shared.

In addition, Harriett Baldwin strongly recommended that for those young adults she met, who live in Ledbury, they should contact their MP regarding the local issues of lack of  free things for young people to do, in particular  about a popular youth club which is closing in March due to funding cuts. The views were expressed , very clearly, that  without this facility  then  more young people will  get into trouble, potentially with more alcohol or drug related issues, and hence keeping  a club which engages with young people is very necessary. Barrie Sheldon, suggested   finding a keen volunteer on this project who will  contact his office of the Police and Crime Commissioners as  they were very interested in  finding projects that help to divert   from crime .

One of YSS partners, The Fold, Bransford, hosted the visit to the YSS T2A pilot project on Friday 22 February and Will Tooby, Director explained the work of the Care Farm. The T2A project was praised for its support to young adults and the benefits of offering further support in addition to the work of the Probation service was recognised.

The visit was arranged by the T2A Alliance and was hosted by Rob Smith, Chief Executive YSS, together with Les King, West Mercia Probation Trust Worcestershire Deputy Head and Keith Barham, Head of West Mercia YOS.

Harriett Baldwin, MP, Barrie Sheldon Deputy PCC West Mercia, and Eric Wood, Deputy PCC for Warwickshire, together with YSS Chair of Trustees Lady Susanna McFarlane, and YSS Trustee Tricia Bradbury meet 4 young people, their partners and also a volunteer mentor, Nick Goodwin. The work of Youth Offending Service (YOS), West Mercia Probation Trust and T2A was discussed and  how  all contribute to achieving successful support for these young adults.

Friday morning’s visit was a great success, as it was a very positive meeting and has given much food for thought. This will also be reported back to the T2A alliance. With the Probation review being very much debated, this has given Harriett more information first hand on the type of holistic services/ wrap around services that can be provided in partnerships with Probation.

 

 

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