In February, we announced our partnership with the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) in Colchester. We’re thrilled to share this update on our work with YES and the difference it has made in Essex.
The Charlie Watkins Foundation’s support for YES included funding a school navigator role. This is currently in place and they are actively working with many school students, which has proved to be a very much needed service.
High numbers of students have said they feel listened to and supported because of this role. This is because it has enabled young people, who needed someone to talk to about how they are feeling, to have a voice and know they are being heard.
As well as this, some students have been signposted to different organisations that were identified through the project as the level of intervention needed for every student is very different.
Recently, because of the sudden deaths of two students, the school navigator role was desperately needed to offer support to those students affected by the sudden sadness and loss. This helped many students understand that they have a direct person they can talk to face-to-face in school when it is most needed.
Many young people have reported that this is a “great” service to have as they feel “very listened to and much better in themselves after being able to talk confidentially to someone.”
The safeguarding lead at one school fed back the positive effect the service is having on their students and how much of a difference this has made to young people accessing the service. They also commented that with high volumes of young people using this as a way of talking, it has freed up their time to concentrate on their primary teaching role.
One young person fed back to say: “thank you for listening to me, as I felt very alone and isolated and did not want anyone to judge me. But I felt I was heard and now I can concentrate on my education and can always see Keran or call her if I feel low. I did not trust my teachers, friends or parents.”
Dr David Sollis, CEO of YES, said: “This really is a lifesaving project, and we are so lucky to have Keran in post and, more importantly, the funding to support her in this most difficult of times. This is now a frontline service for so many young people, families and professionals and it is making a huge impact on young people’s lives.”