The charity, based in Edington but operating throughout the county, is launching a new business plan to better reflect what it does and how it does it. Young Somerset will deliver three core strands of work to support the personal, social, educational and economic development of young people up to the age of 25:
- Open Access Youth Provision: including youth clubs, projects related to sport, leisure, recreation, mental health and wellbeing support
- Skills Development: including Environmental Conservation, Motor Mechanics, Music & the Arts, Money for Life, Generation Code, Digi-Know
- Social Action: including National Citizen Service (NCS), supporting young people to volunteer, fundraise and campaign for positive change in their communities
The charity was founded as a result of a national competition called “Rural Challenge” (Rural Development Commission) and has evolved over the years, expanding its work beyond its original mission of “Rural Regeneration using a Youth Work methodology” to work across the county wherever it has been able to make a difference in the lives of young people.
In recent years, Somerset Rural Youth Project has developed a range of work with young people that is based on a core youth work ethos: its staff work to develop a relationship with individual young people that is open, honest, trusting, respectful and led by the young person. In that way, the charity can co-design work that is relevant – creating opportunities for young people to develop life skills, build confidence and resilience and raise not just their aspirations, but their horizons – looking to the future and beyond their immediate experiences.
As Young Somerset, the charity will continue to support these needs and build more proactive work to support young people’ enterprise, mental health and wellbeing, and continue to ensure that they can play an active role in their communities. Young Somerset believes that putting young people first will improve Somerset.
Its Chief Executive, Nik Harwood, said, “I am excited and privileged to be leading the organisation into its new identity which much more clearly describes our work. We are here to support Somerset’s young people in their journey to adulthood and independence by delivering services that meet their needs in all areas of their lives. We know that our new name will serve us well in the future as we look to expand our work.”