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Gathering of agencies will benefit young people - News Release 1 March 2010

Monday 1 March 2010

YOUTH workers will exchange information and forge new contacts with other agencies working with young people at a gathering this Saturday.

The Nunnery – home of the International Business School – will play host to those who work with eight to 21-year-olds, whether on a paid or voluntary basis.

The event will see those working or volunteering with the Department of Education’s Youth Service (and other organisations registered with the Department) make contact with and learn about other services – something that will ultimately improve opportunities for young people.

Ken Callister, Senior Youth Officer with the Department, who is organising the gathering, taking place from 10am to 3pm, said: ‘Sometimes youth workers find themselves seeking more specialist advice or support on behalf of young people.

‘Youth workers find it really useful to put a face to the name of some of the more specialist services. When you pick up the phone and ask for help or advice on behalf of a young person, it helps if you understand the service and it’s even better if you know the person on the other end of the line. The event will give people the chance to learn about services and meet the people behind them.’

Ken continued: ‘The day is organised as a series of workshop sessions for small groups and is intended to be the springboard for greater joined-up working.

‘The Children's Plan, published by the Isle of Man Government last year, encourages agencies to work more closely together and, since the last event of this type, which we organised in 2007, we have seen many exciting steps taken to more closely integrate services for children and young people,’ Ken said. ‘The Youth Service and the Police, for example, can be seen working together in a way that is having a real impact: Young people feel safer and have a more positive attitude towards the Police and Police Officers are engaging positively with young people. This has come about though a shared vision for a safer community.

‘Two of Saturday’s workshops will explore projects the Youth Service and the Police have engaged in, with a view to sharing some good practice and inspiring others.

‘In another area, the Youth Service shares with Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR) the aim of encouraging young people to adopt healthy lifestyles,’ Ken said. ‘Creating opportunities for teenagers to engage in physical activity of their own free will demands a creative approach. One of the workshops will explore what we can do to tackle this and what activities and events we could arrange.’

Ken continued: ‘A workshop hosted by CRUSE will explore bereavement and its impact on young people and what the charity can do to help. With Manx National Heritage there will be an opportunity to explore how we can get more young people into heritage sites. The housing charity Kemmyrk will explain its work and, with the help of its peer educators, explore the issues around leaving home. The Alcohol Advisory Service will give participants the chance to learn more about a service that is there to help anyone aged 12-21 affected by their own or their parents’ drinking.’

The Department of Education’s Careers Guidance Service will be looking into ways it can make careers information more readily available to young people through youth clubs and projects, while the Special Needs and Psychology Service will offer explore issues and offer guidance to those trying to make clubs and projects accessible to young people with additional needs, Ken said. Saturday’s event is open to anyone who works with young people in the eight to 21 age range. It is free but pre-course registration is essential. For more information, contact Ken Callister on 01624 686057 or email k.callister@doe.gov.im

Useful Links

Isle of Man Children's Plan

Youth.im website

Youth Service website

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