Coach in the Community
Coach in the Community is a registered charity which provides an outreach service to young people across east Dorset from a converted double decker bus.
- PRIORITY 1
The bus is equipped with a café and tuck shop, games consoles and a TV, plus porch for young people to sit outside. The trained staff are able to offer advice and help to young people. This PCC grant enabled the coach to start a new outreach at Potterne Park in Verwood on Friday nights, where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour.
The project has been a great success for the town and is widely supported by members of the community and public bodies. A core team of 10 volunteers have been running the sessions with an experienced Youth Worker present every week . they built up meaningful relationships with the young people over this period, and this has provided opportunities to guide and mentor young people through some difficult issues.
One of the keys to the success of the project was to link with agencies in the area. Following closure of the Verwood Youth Club there has been an increase in the numbers attending the Coach, and also adhoc visits from Detached Youth Workers from the remaining service. The staff have also formed positive relations with the local PCSO’s who often pop by on a Friday night.
The Council employees who run the Social Club in the Park have been an invaluable support each week, and are very much in support of the project. Verwood Council kindly financed the deficit in terms of meeting the total costs to run the sessions, and the project has been invited to go back to them for further funding for a second year. The local supermarket Morrison’s have been a great financial support, giving both substantially towards the new bus, and also providing fundraising opportunities for the charity.
Attendance has increased over the year, with 65 young people on some summer evenings. There is a core group of about 20 young people who attend regularly, regardless of the weather or if they are using the skatepark or not. Some are choosing to seek out advice from the team regarding tricky life issues, such as relationship breakdowns; drug or alcohol abuse; non-school attendance; and other such matters. As a result, the team are shaping the work to address issues of low self-esteem, delivering a drug and alcohol awareness course, and have got 2 of the young people involved with the National Young Volunteers award so as to support CV’s for future work. The team have also supported 2 young people in securing paid work.
For more information please see here : www.coachinthecommunity.org