Rob Flello MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, meets young people at YSS Transition to adulthood project in Worcester

Rob Flello MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, says of the YSS Transition to Adulthood (T2A) project in Worcester that the benefits  it brings to the young people that it supports cannot be overestimated.

Rob Flello MP visits YSS

 “Rob Flello MP heard first hand from young adults, about the valuable work of the T2A project, and the changes they have been able to make to their lives. (T2A is a partnership between YSS, West Mercia Probation Trust and West Mercia Youth offending Service).

Young adults on the project said that having someone from T2A who will listen, and who will empower them to do things for themselves rather than someone else doing it for them was key to the success and reducing their risk of re-offending. Help with accommodation issues, getting into training (for example to be a chef, or a security officer), access to food banks and using the Job Centre were topics discussed.

“I am more confident now, and my life has changed for the better, and this is   thanks to the work with my T2A key worker” Dan, age 23 years, from Worcester, commented on being asked what YSS has done to help him.

Mr Flello meet  3 young adults  on the project and their key workers, and even spoke to another on the phone,  who was very keen to be part of the discussion with him, at the YSS Training and Enterprise Centre, Worcester.

He commented: ‘After speaking with young people and their key workers at the YSS project in Worcester, there is a clear message which emerges about the best approach to help young people avoid cycles of offending. It was really encouraging to hear how YSS gives young people the confidence and knowledge to enable them to move forward with their lives and overcome the challenges which they may have faced in the past. The approachable and friendly atmosphere at YSS breaks down the barriers between service users and staff, motivating young people to engage in activities and opportunities which they may have been reluctant to access in the past. The YSS approach clearly works and the benefits which it brings to the young people that it supports cannot be overestimated.’

David Chantler, CEO West Mercia Probation Trust, Phil Kendrick, Head of Commissioning for West Mercia Youth Offending Service together with YSS Senior managers and YSS chair of Trustees Lady McFarlane had the opportunity to discuss with the MP the forthcoming national changes to the Probation service and the locally planned changes to develop T2A on a permanent basis, following the Barrow Cadbury Trust funded pilot project. They were also able to discuss the future role of the voluntary sector in criminal justice interventions. Rob Smith CEO of YSS highlighted his concerns that the pioneering work of T2A in West Mercia, which had evidenced a significant reduction in re-offending of 9%, compared to a cohort comparison of 48%, was at risk given the proposed changes in the newly announced tendering arrangements of Probation Services. The role of the voluntary sector to be engaged and to innovate could be severely restricted if the tendering specifications for the new services were not designed correctly.

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