PRESS RELEASE: Youth Services 2021

Published: 16 July 2021

The Sevenoaks Youth Services Committee met this week and the following partners talked through their ongoing provision of youth work during these difficult and restricting times of the pandemic and public health restrictions. It was agreed to distribute these details more widely to provide information relating to the youth services being delivered.
Kent County Council Youth Services
For Sevenoaks District the base for the KCC Youth Services is within the Swanley Hub. The Hub is not currently open to young people. KCC Youth Services provided targeted youth support for identified vulnerable young people and some school work. They have also created a district wide Youth Forum with representatives from schools. In a recent survey of schools young people identified the following as their current key concerns – Mental Health, Environment, impact of COVID 19.
Sevenoaks Area Youth Trust (SAYT)
SAYT is a church based voluntary organisation. They are currently recruiting for a youth worker. In the past they have provided a weekly Youth Bus at Greatness Recreation Ground on a Thursday, and provided a voluntary youth worker for the House in the Basement Youth Café once a week, they are currently working in Kemsing.
Sevenoaks District Council – Community Safety Unit (CSU)
The CSU has a wide remit, working with the local police and this includes community safety for young people. A Summer Fun Days programme has been arranged in conjunction with partners. They are working with the police on a ‘Summer Plan’ to try and avoid the problems experienced last year with large numbers of young people visiting the area to use the water and open spaces. They are also working on addressing a current problem of young adults occupying the Sevenoaks Town Car Park and causing disruption to residents in the early hours of the morning.
West Kent Youth Services (WKYS)
WKYS has a commissioning contract from KCC for two youth workers to cover the district and provide targeted detached work and school work for vulnerable young people. WKYS also provides separate youth work including an 8 -12 Group for referred young people.
WKYS are currently holding detached youth work every Tuesday at Greatness Recreation Ground skatepark.
Sevenoaks Town Council / House in the Basement Youth Café
The Town Council provides facilities throughout the Sevenoaks town which are openly available and free to use for young people. This includes public open space and sports pitches including new Multi Use Games Area (basketball, tennis, five a side football, netball), events during school holidays,
Skateboard Park at Greatness Recreation Ground, play areas, outdoor gym equipment and House in the Basement Youth Café.
In addition, it coordinates and supports Sevenoaks Youth Council. In the past the Youth Council has been very successful progressing campaigns including provision of the youth café, music events and Plastic Free Sevenoaks Pledge. The new Youth Council will be formed this autumn, see details below.

The House in the Basement Youth Café (HiTB) has only been able to be open on a restricted basis during the pandemic. It hopes that it will be able to relax restrictions later this month and is preparing a programme of activities for this and the summer holidays.

Cllr Waite, the Chairman of the Youth Services Committee, said: It is more important now that we continue to provide youth services not only to the vulnerable but also all young people, to help them cope with their well-being and have some fun during these difficult times.