In his weekly message to residents, the Mayor of Hailsham Cllr Paul Holbrook praises youth workers for continuing to ensure that local young people stay safe, are following government guidance on social distancing and getting the appropriate support they need during the Coronavirus pandemic:
“I’m delighted to see that dedicated staff from the Town Council’s youth service team are out and about in the town centre and other areas of Hailsham as lockdown easing continues.
While the Square Youth Cafe and other facilities managed by Hailsham Youth Service remain closed due to the pandemic and social distancing rules currently in place, the Town Council’s youth workers – Hailsham Youth Service – in liaison with the local police, continue to operate detached provision for those youngsters needing specific support during this difficult time.
Youth workers have recently returned to the streets and outdoor spaces in order to support young people experiencing a range of issues, including mental health, unemployment, isolation and loneliness.
Currently, Hailsham Youth Service’s staff engage in detached work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, with two teams operating at any one time. Staff wear clearly visible youth service branded clothes so they can be found easily and the Service ensures that all detached work is carried out in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
In addition to this, Hailsham Youth Service has continued to remain in contact with young people remotely since the start of the pandemic and closure of the Square Youth Cafe and similar facilities, through its social media pages. The team’s Facebook and Instagram pages have enabled young people to stay updated, join in on discussions, take part in activities and keep in touch with the youth worker team – a service provision which has been welcomed by young people in Hailsham and parents alike.
However, it has proven to be extremely beneficial to be able to engage face-to-face once more, by way of detached work.
Maintaining contact with young people and keeping them engaged with services is essential, especially with the continued closure of face-to-face services. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures currently in place, there have been a lot of changes to young people’s living circumstances. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of keeping young people updated on social media and in touch with youth workers on a detached youth work basis are important during this pandemic.
It’s ironic that Hailsham Youth Service celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year – and most of its service provision and facilities have had to close for the duration of the pandemic. Nevertheless, our youth project team continues to meet the multitude of needs of local young people, albeit on a limited basis until such time as it will be allowed to reopen its centres and reinstate various activities.
For 20 years, Hailsham Youth Service has improved the quality of life for young people in Hailsham and surrounding rural villages. Such benefits have been achieved through the integrated provision of recreation, opportunities for personal and social development, information and advice.
Starting in early 2000 with the opening of the Service’s flagship facility – the Square Youth Café in Market Square, the service has since set up further facilities, including the Monday Youth Club and SafeHub – a drop-in centre set up recently to accommodate vulnerable young people on a Friday evening. Add to this the wide range of recreational activities offered via the Friday Night Project and strong links forged over the years with other agencies, including Hailsham Community College and the Safer Wealden Partnership.
The development of the Town Council’s youth projects over the last twenty years proves that there are ample opportunities for developing partnerships with other agencies to provide innovative work with individuals or groups of young people.
It has been a pleasure to work with the youth project team during my long tenure as a town councillor – their positive attitude and obvious enjoyment in working with young people has ensured that Hailsham Youth Service has gone from strength to strength since its launch, and continues to do so despite the current pandemic.
Furthermore, in recent weeks and while our youth facilities are closed, we’re making improvements to the Square Youth Cafe – including its backyard area – in preparation for its eventual reopening.
In closing, I wish to assure you all that the Town Council is continuing to serve its residents during the pandemic.
Much of our effort continues to be put into communicating with you all the closure and any relevant updates relating to the wide range of services that we provide, such as the community halls, play areas and youth services. We are also continuing to keep residents updated on our services and facilities which have remained open but with changes and/or restrictions in place, including the cemetery and high street post office.
Communicating changes and temporary restrictions to our services is a very important task and I encourage everyone to follow the Town Council social media pages during the pandemic, and keep an eye on our main website for any updates on Council services and facilities.
Thank you and stay safe everyone.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org