Our History and key milestones since 1986:
YSS celebrates 30 years of supporting people in the community. It now has projects working in West Mercia and Warwickshire.
ARC (Accessing Resources in the Community) a diversionary project funded by a West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner grant, starts to support and assist young adults aged 17-24.
YSS Worcestershire Young Carers conference was most generously sponsored by drp communications. HRH The Princess Royal was a key note speaker at this very successful event designed and lead by young carers.
DWP funded Employment Support Programme commences in Worcester, based at Carden Street. This aimed to break down barriers to employability for those furthest from the job market.
YSS’s own commercial Carden St.Cafe is launched in Worcester, and is opened officially by the Bishop of Worcester.
YSS moves its head office to 13-17 Carden Street, Worcester.
YSS gains its largest single contract, from Shropshire Council, to deliver Early Help services, working in partnership with Home-start Shropshire, for ages 0-19 across Shropshire.
Following the development of the partnership with the West Mercia Probation Trust, and years of learning how to manage of offenders in the criminal justice system, Enhanced Support for Supervision provision commenced.
West Mercia Police commissioned YSS to develop a bespoke individual service to target groups of offenders most at risk of reoffending across West Mercia.
YSS secures significant funding from the Lloyds Bank Foundation( formerly Lloyds TSB Foundation) to develop the knowledge and capacity of YSS and local partner agencies around mental health issues for people who have offended.
YSS becomes a registered RSHP (Royal Society for Health Prevention) centre.
Rob Smith, former YSS CEO, is requested to give personal evidence at the Parliamentary Select Committee on the future of Probation services.
YSS becomes the strategic partner of West Mercia Probation Trust in a ground breaking arrangement that garners national attention. The partnership emerges into the One Step Beyond partnership which aims to create a interdependent network of partner organisations from the voluntary, public and private sectors to reduce re-offending in the West Mercia area.
YSS is registered as a NOCN (National Open College Network) and starts the delivery of accredited training courses. (Vocational, Personal and Social development, Employability)
YSS opens up a large vocational training centre at Carden Street Worcester. YSS converts a derelict 10,000 square foot factory unit to include a construction hall, I.T. suite, training rooms, cafe, counselling rooms, independent living suite and a music and film studio. Initially concentrating on alternative curriculum delivery for 14-19 year old NEETs, the centre is now being redeveloped into being a social enterprise centre with the aim of concentrating of employing and training young adults who are aged 18-24 years.
YSS becomes a board member of the AIM partnership. A collection of private, public and voluntary sector organisations working across the West Midlands region undertaking action research for moving offenders into employment. The partnership also has multiple European partners based in Sweden, Sardinia, Portugal and Romania. The partnership is working towards being established as either a charity or social enterprise in 2013 to continue its pioneering work.
HRH The Princess Royal agrees to become the patron of YSS. The Princess has now visited YSS on 4 occasions meeting with and speaking at length with service users, volunteers, staff and partner agencies. Her visits include speaking at a national Transitions 2 Adulthood conference hosted by YSS in Worcester, visiting the YSS head Office, visiting our projects in Shropshire and visiting the Carden Street Training Centre in Worcester.
YSS opens an office in Digbeth, Birmingham and starts delivering employability support services to ex offenders and people with substance misuse issues across Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull in partnership with the Shaw Trust. YSS also delivers a resettlement mentoring service in Birmingham for prisoners returning to the local area.
YSS starts pioneering work on the Transition 2 Adulthood (T2A) service in partnership with the Barrow Cadbury Trust. The project is one of 3 national pilots looking at how to re-think and redesign criminal justice services that are far more effective at reducing reoffending and creating positive lives. T2A recognises that young adulthood is discrete stage in life when the brain is not fully developed and maturity issues play a significant part in driving behaviour that isn’t recognised by the system. A national T2A Alliance is established to undertake research and influence policy on this debate. Based on this research and also from evaluations of local YSS activity a brand new radical approach to delivering services is being planned in West Mercia.
Lady Susanna McFarlane DL becomes Chair of Trustees whilst Tricia Bradbury continues on the Trustee Board with a lead responsibility for Criminal Justice issues.
YSS starts delivery a prevention from offending project called YISP (Youth Inclusion Support Programme) for 8 – 17 year olds across the whole Shropshire in partnership with Shropshire Council and the local Youth Offending Service. This projects develops into the Shropshire Divert service in 2008 and also delivers parenting and family services, educational classes and targeted support in local community areas.
YSS develops a West Mercia wide programme in partnership with the Probation Trust to provide a young adult version of ISSP called ICCP (Intensive Control and Change Programme) funded by the National Probation Directorate. The service has been constantly developed and has evolved under different guises to be now called the Enhanced Supervision Service and is aimed at reducing the re-offending of adults who are of most concern to the Probation, Police and Local Authorities across West Mercia.
YSS undertakes to deliver the Worcestershire Young Carers service in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, Health and Education. In 2010 the project starts delivery of an innovative Young Adult Carers project for 18-24 year olds. This project is still running at present.
YSS starts the delivery of intensive mentoring services in Stoke and Staffordshire initially as part of the regional Connect project aimed at supporting short sentenced prisoners on release from custody to move into employment. This project runs until 2008 and since that point YSS has been commissioned locally by the Community Safety partnership in Stoke to deliver mentoring services to Prolific Offenders as part of either court orders or on a voluntary basis.
YSS starts delivery across the entire West Mercia area (Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin) by leading on a partnership with the local 2 Youth Offending Services in delivering the Youth Justice Board’s ISSP (intensive Supervision Programme) aimed at 10-17 year olds who were classed as prolific and/or priority offenders. The service (now just called ISS) is still being delivered in 2014, with YSS staff placed within the West Mercia Youth Offending Service. The service can provide up to 25 hours per week of supervision and support to a young person.
YSS is registered as an independent charity and company limited by guarantee. The first chair of Trustees is Tricia Bradbury MBE DL JP. Tricia a founding Trustee, is still active with Trustees at this time. Rob Smith, former YSS Chief Executive, who was appointed the year before oversees and manages this process.
YSS secures funding from the Youth Justice Board to deliver a Bail Support Service across Worcestershire and Herefordshire and funding to pilot a volunteer Appropriate Adult service for those being detained by the Police. Both projects are aimed at 10 – 17 year olds.
ISS changes its name to YSS (Youth Support Services)
ISS opens up a pioneering emergency overnight placement (EOP) service across Worcestershire and Herefordshire for young people aged 10 – 17 years in custody and being detained by the Police pending a court hearing. Over a 10 year period this service accommodates over 800 young people from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire and ensures they are not kept in a Police Cell and allowing for a detailed assessment of their circumstances prior to attending a fist court hearing. The service is delivered from a converted 3 bedroomed flat based at the YSS Office in Droitwtch however has to close in 2001 due to changes in the new Children’s Home legislation.
A multi-agency project called the ISS (Intensive Support Scheme) is formed as a multi agency project hosted under the umbrella of the Worcester Diocesan Board for Social responsibility with a management board consisting of Social Services, Youth Services, Education, Probation, Police and local Magistrates.
ISS starts delivering an intensive support programme called Specified Activity requirements that are part of court orders for 14 – 17 year olds across Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Each young person has an individual action plan that looks at all aspects of their lives. YSS staff meet with a young person 3 or 4 times a week at their homes and in local community facilities providing motivational one to one support and liaise with statutory agencies on behalf of the young person and their families where appropriate.