On Friday 23rd March, PCC Mark Shelford met with two local support charities within the Bath and North East Somerset area.
The PCC started his day meeting the independent charity Youth Connect South West (YCSW) in their City Centre Youth Space in Bath. YCSW provides both universal and targeted support for young people aged between11 and 25 years old. These opportunities include detached youth work, outreach engagement, 1-1 targeted support, and careers advice and guidance.
YCSW Music Youth Worker, Flash, explained the ‘Street 2 Studio’ music initiative. The Southside Youth Hub professional music recording studio enables groups of young people to attend a weekly session to build up their skills around recording, editing and all aspects of music production, as well as developing an understanding of the wider music industry.
The YCSW Targeted Support and Employability Programme Manager, Cheryl, explained the individual and bespoke educational support packages the charity provides to young people, aged between 13 and 25 years old. Each young person builds a positive working relationship with their Key Worker, who supports them accessing positive activities and qualifications.
Click here to find out more about Youth Connect South West
Later that same morning, the PCC went and met with the charity Southside, who provide a trauma-informed, therapeutically focused support for victims of domestic violence and abuse, along with their families. Southside find solutions that last and make a positive change in their lives.
Southside’s services are inclusive: while women are most likely to experience domestic abuse, men, people in same-sex relationships, trans and non-binary people also experience abuse. Some people face additional barriers to accessing support and not recognising abusive behaviours. Their experienced team helps people to overcome these barriers.
The PCC learnt about some of the services Southside offer, including the Southside’s team of Intake Workers and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA), who support people aged over 16 years who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Southside also have Older Persons’ IDVAs, who provide specialist support for people experiencing domestic abuse in later life.
The PCC was then joined by some courageous and inspirational volunteers, who spoke of their personal domestic violence and abuse situations and how Southside have provided essential support, advice and guidance to them and their family.
Click to find out more about Southside Family Project