Friday, 19 April 2024
Friday, 19 April 2024

Shropshire youth charity celebrates another successful year

A Shropshire youth charity has marked another successful year by providing more than 147,000 voluntary hours – worth the equivalent of more than £3million.

SYA – All About Youth, which runs youth clubs, activities for young people and support groups across the county, has pledged to continue this invaluable assistance over the coming year through its extensive range of support packages, training, access to equipment and resources and highly valued one-to-one visits.

The Shrewsbury-based charity’s achievements during 2022 included: The weekly support of 6,254 young people under 18 to receive informal education and support; the provision of 229 safe places weekly for young people; enabling 471 young people to enjoy out-of-school activities; and helping 800 over 18s to take part in youth activities – 317 with the Shropshire Federation of Young Farmers.

In addition, the charity has upskilled 112 volunteers to improve delivery in safeguarding, youth work nationally accredited to Levels 2 and 3, drugs and alcohol, mental health and first aid; supported the reopening of 107 youth clubs or groups after the pandemic; supported 2,094 volunteers to deliver youth clubs, groups and activities; and trained and supported 31 young leaders to achieve nationally recognised awards.

The 147,000 voluntary hours provided would have cost more than £3million if those hours had been salaried.

Richard Parkes, SYA’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“2022 was most certainly another amazing year for the charity with the social value generated by volunteers being 147,112 volunteering hours in youth clubs, projects and groups – worth £3,021,744 if that time had to be paid for.

“Our lottery-funded project Tomorrow’s Leaders has really picked up momentum with SYA Young Health Champions, Young Leader Training Youth Forums and Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) strengthening the youth voice in the county alongside Telford & Wrekin MYP.

“The volunteers and staff have a huge impact on young people’s lives, keeping them safe, giving them excitement, adventure, new skills and interests in safe places. By building strong appropriate relationships, we are best placed to make early interventions and help young people overcome worries, fears and anxieties.- resulting in a reduction in referrals to local authorities, and health and police services.

“Thanks go to all the fantastic youth workers and committee members for their commitment and enthusiasm in helping us to support the great clubs and projects now up and running again in this wonderful county of Shropshire.”

Ian Cruise-Taylor, Chair of Trustees, said:

“SYA emerged from the pandemic with strong determination that young people would again have local youth clubs, wherever they lived in the County, and I am pleased to report that we are well on the way to achieving this ambition. 

“We now have 107 clubs that are up and running, which equates to 229 club sessions each week with several new clubs opening including Cheswardine, Newport, Highley and Madeley. Youth Clubs require leaders and of the 2,094 youth leaders and support teams working in Shropshire, 1,010 totally rely upon SYA for their support, with the Scout and Girl Guide movements covering the remainder. 

“Some  6,958 young people a week attend clubs run by, or supported by, SYA, 6,254 under 18’s and 704 over 18’s. This year, 112 leaders have taken part in SYA training courses in youth work, safeguarding and/or first aid which has demanded a high level of commitment. We are also delighted to see so many undertaking the Young Leaders’ Training courses with 31 achieving a national award this year.

“We are also looking to develop our work in Telford & Wrekin and are very aware of the need for more facilities for young people across Shropshire, so are working hard to encourage and develop new clubs. 

“SYA greatly values the cooperation and help received from town and parish councils and community groups across the county who have recognised the importance of youth provision in their areas, and we look forward to increasing that provision as funding permits.”

For more about SYA, call 01743 730005, email info@sya.org.uk or visit: https://sya.org.uk/.

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