The Cheshire West and Chester Council Youth Service is part of the Early Help and Prevention Service.
We deliver youth provisions and youth projects to young people 13 to 19 years (up to 25 years if Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.)
We offer young people:
- somewhere to go, something to do, someone to talk to
- support, advice and guidance on issues affecting young people
- early help and prevention issue based projects
- C card Condom distribution scheme
- participatory projects i.e. Youth Senate
West Cheshire Youth Service delivers provisions in the following localities:
Youth provisions are:
- Centre based Youth Zones
- Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision
- LGBT+ youth provision
- Amplify Youth Music Projects
- Detached Youth Work
- Pop-Up Youth Zones also known as Youth ASB Diversionary Events (YADE).
The youth provisions provide safe, supportive, informal learning and recreational fun activities across the borough.
Young people can expect support, advice and guidance and up to date information from our trained staff team on issues that are affecting young people. Support, advice and guidance is informal, engaging and interactive. This includes advice on drugs and alcohol, smoking, sexual health and healthy lifestyles.
We aim for young people to be informed, explore their values and beliefs and to discuss risk-taking behaviours and the consequences. This enables young people to make positive, healthy choices about their lives, reach their full potential and thrive.
Young people can seek one-to-one support when they need it, on any worries or concerns they may have. This could include, self-harm, mental health and wellbeing, Teenage Relationship Abuse (TRA) and hate crime - what it is and how to report it.
The Cheshire West and Chester Youth Service delivers a variety of youth provisions across the borough and is free of charge to attend.
Centre based Youth Zones - in local community buildings
A youth zone provides young people somewhere to go in the evenings that is safe, where they can enjoy time with friends, peers and meet new people. It is a place to chill out, have fun and take part in weekly activities such as; sports, dance, arts and craft, graffiti art, healthy cooking, and recreational activities. Young people are encouraged to get involved in workshops to learn new skills and take part in new exciting opportunities. Young people participate and have a voice in the programme planning of events and activities.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Youth Provision (For young people 13 to 25 years)
Choices Project in Ellesmere Port and Buddies Project in Northwich and Winsford
Choices and Buddies provide young people with a safe and welcoming environment to socialise with their friends, peers and to meet new people. We provide tailored programme plans that meet the needs of the young people. We encourage engagement and participation in developing social skills, life skills and independent living, such as personal safety, healthy relationships and friendships, healthy cooking, budgeting and recreational activities, arts and craft, music, pool and table tennis. Young people participate and have a voice in the programme planning of events and activities.
Amplify Youth Music Project - in Northwich and Chester
Amplify Youth Music project offers a safe creative space for young people to be part of a creative community and explore their art and creative skills to increase their potential. From learning to play an instrument, becoming a member of a band, developing music skills or taking part in music workshops, there are also opportunities for young people to create their own projects such as graffiti art, photography, film making and animation.
Amplify Youth Music Project performs music events in the community. These events offer young musicians the first opportunity to perform in a safe, supportive environment and build their confidence.
Young people can seek one to one support when they need it, on any worries or concerns they may have. This could include self-harm, mental health and wellbeing, Teenage Relationship Abuse (TRA) and drugs and alcohol.
Detached Youth Work
Detached Youth Work is delivered to young people out on the streets in the local parks, hotspot areas, anywhere where young people hang out.
The aim is to build and establish positive relationships with young people, to then be able to offer support, information, advice and guidance on issue-based topics, such as sexual health and drugs and alcohol, to encourage and motivate young people to make healthy choices and explore their values and beliefs.
The staff team also informs young people of the consequences of risky behaviours including anti-social behaviour (ASB). Young people are also motivated to participate in timely community projects and events to promote young people’s community engagement and achievements, encourage aspirations and challenge negative stereotypes.
Pop-Up Youth Zones also known as Youth ASB diversionary events (YADE)
The Youth Service staff team deliver diversionary events with Community Safety Wardens and Police Colleagues in targeted hotspot areas. The Youth Zones offer young people diversionary activities that promote healthy choices and inform about the consequences of risk-taking behaviours including anti-social behaviour (ASB). The aim is to encourage young people to attend centre-based Youth provision. The zones also promote the Detached Youth Work Team that will engage with the young people, offer positive activities and can offer informal, support, advice and guidance.
The Youth Senate is Cheshire West and Chester’s Youth Council. The Youth Senate consults with young people and is our young peoples' voice at a local, regional and national level, ensuring that what young people think and feel is being listened to when making important decisions that affect them.
The Youth Senate is open to any young people aged from 11 to 25 years, from across the borough, who would like to participate in the project and are interested and passionate about making a difference for young people. The members are invited to represent young people’s voice at council meetings and asked to consult with young people on various issues.
Two elected Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) attend the Youth Senate, who are voted for by their peers in MYP school elections across the borough.
Members of Youth Parliament (MYP)
Members of Youth Parliament represent the young people’s ‘voice’ at a local and national level. The MYP role leads on campaigns, for example Make Your Mark, attends the House of Commons for a live debate and will participate in meetings key to their role of representing young people across the borough. The role of MYP will run for a period of two years.
UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) Cheshire West and Chester Council Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) Elections
The project runs every two years during February and March in schools across the borough. Schools will receive information regarding how a young person can apply for the role as MYP. Young People will need to submit an expression of interest to the Youth Service.
Young People who have expressed an interest will be invited to day event ‘Induction and Expectations of the role of MYP’. This day is lead by the current Members of Youth Parliament.
Make Your Mark
This is an annual national ballot paper asking young people across the borough what is most important to them. The results are the focus for the project to promote campaigns and deliver awareness raising sessions to young people and professionals. In 2017 5573 young people took part with the top issues being 'Votes at 16' and a ‘Curriculum to Prepare us for life’.
For more information visit the Make Your Mark website.
Youthforia is a regional event that brings together all other Youth Councils in the Northwest. The events are held six times a year and delivers one residential.
The young people who attend share local ideas, network and make links with neighbouring Youth Councils. Youthforia members will receive training on topical subjects that young people request; these could include; Internet Safety, Mentoring, and Health and Wellbeing Awareness.
Take Over Challenge
Take Over Challenge is a Children’s Commissionaire initiative, launched in 2007, that is fun, imaginative and an exciting activity to encourage organisations across England to open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles. The project runs in the month of November each year.
In Cheshire West and Chester we give young people the opportunity to work with a senior leader within the council which puts young people into decision-making positions and allows young people to gain a valuable insight into the adult world and gain experience of a workplace, while we can benefit from a fresh perspective on our work and listen to young peoples views.
For more information visit the Takeover Challenge website.