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Detatched Youth Work

Our starting point for all our work is to seek to meet young people where they are at. Detached Youth work takes this very literally as our teams spend time on the streets and in the parks meeting young people on their own ground and their own terms.

Through this incarnational model of youth work we can sign post young people and work directly with them in their community supporting their development and aspirations and tackling some of the issues young people regularly face when growing up.

Contrary to popular media images young people can become part of the solution to the issues in their communities rather than the cause of the problems and this has been demonstrated through some of the community activities young people have been supported to organise by Worth Unlimited teams such as graffiti removal sessions, garden clearing, bingo afternoons for senior citizens and games parties for smaller children.

Worth Unlimited runs a number of detached youth work projects and also Mobile Youth Venues – buses equipped with social facilities that provide safe places for young people to go and enjoy being together whilst also accessing information and advice from skilled workers. A number of our team members live in or very close to the areas that they work in and have developed approaches through being active members of their local neighbourhoods.

A useful framework that has been developed builds on the Huskins Curriculum model and sets out the different phases detached youth work projects often travel through.

Worth Unlimited offer highly recommended training to projects interested in developing detached youth work projects through our partners at Frontier Youth Trust and we recommend “Meeting Them Where They’re At” by Richard Passmore as a useful guide to those starting in this field of work. Richard was the former founder of Worth Unlimited and has extensive knowledge of detached youth work.

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Associated story
Article from the Local Guardian newspaper

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“Our young are not thugs they care for community”

A Teenagers mother on a Chingford Housing estate has hit back at claims that local youths are creating a climate of fear.

In January the Guardian reported accusations from residents on the Yardley Lane estate, that a group of youths there were using a disused medical centre for anti social behaviour and verbally and physically abusing the locals.

But Mrs x or Antlers Hill, mother of 16 year old y said the claims were exaggerated and many youths on the estate cared about their community. “Last summer all the kids spent three Saturdays cleaning the estate, picking up litter and painting window frames.”

y said, “Most people see a group of youngsters hanging around and they get apprehensive. But is’s not fair to treat us like that when they can’t see all the things we’re doing behind the scenes”

Andrew Musgrave Project Coordinator for Worth Unlimited, an organisation carrying out detached youth work in the area, has helped “y” and his friends set up their own youth group 379fxu.

Mr Musgrave said “There are some issues on the estate but no more that anywhere else. I believe it’s been blown out of proportion.”

“We helped “y” and his friends apply for funding from the Local Network Fund which they have used in a constructive fashion.

“We manage the money for them and they develop ideas. Last summer for example, they orgnaised activities such as go carting and a theatre trip and there have been training sessions to help them keep the youth club open.”

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WF Guardian : 17th Feb. 2005

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