Syston Youth Café Volunteers Required

On a Friday night in July 2015 the Youth Café at the Hub opened for the first time. This was the end result of a three year project when volunteers from Syston Methodist Church engaged with young people hanging around public areas, even in bad weather, to understand what motivated them to congregate in parks and car parks. The consultation identified that whilst there are several uniformed organisations, sports clubs and other structured groups, there was a lack of a less structured safe space for young people to congregate and engage in positive behaviour activity.
In addition, they engaged with local residents about their concerns and raised the funds needed to create a bespoke Community and Youth Café for the town. Syston Methodist Church, with the backing of Syston Town Council, developed a purpose built community and youth facility within the town centre.
The priority was to respond to youth related anti-social behaviour by opening the Youth Café element of the Community Hub, which is staffed by Go-Getta CIC, volunteers from the church and wider community help staff the facility.
The Syston Youth Café is part of Syston Methodist Church outreach into the local community. It aims to provide young people a safe place to go to be with their peer group. It provides a space with trained adult youth workers and volunteers. During the three years since the Youth Café opened there has been almost 300 young people registered and there is a regular attendance of approximately 20 young people each Friday.
Staff deliver youth work activities, issue based workshops and group work from this base. The bank of volunteers who are committed to this project receive training from Go-Getta CIC to support them to build confidence in working with young people, give them skills to work with challenging behaviours and build positive relationships in the long term.
During the last year, Go-Getta CIC has delivered youth work interventions. Our activities include arts and crafts, team games and cooking. Staff and volunteers have worked intensively to nurture trust with these children, young people and their families. Since our involvement, anti-social behaviour within Syston has significantly reduced.
Earlier this year, the Youth Café opened an additional evening on Thursdays with the purpose of providing a facility for the older young person to discuss any issue affecting them personally such as mental health and stress, relationship issues, or problems at school or home.
The café sells a range of hot and cold drinks and sweet or savoury snacks and one of the volunteer roles is to serve in the cafeteria.
Activities that have taken place over recent months include:
? Delivery of the ‘summer holiday healthy eating’ project, where young people were involved in weekly cooking sessions over the school summer holidays. We had 17 individual young people engage in learning basic recipes and preparing healthy meals and snacks. 
? Work with young people around sexual health, including contraception advice.
? Drug & Alcohol advice. 
? Delivery of various sports activities including dodgeball, football, table tennis and badminton.
? Informal educational discussions with young people around various issues including substance misuse, criminal exploitation, healthy relationships, bullying, racism and providing emotional support to young people experiencing personal issues.
? Conflict resolution and mediation amongst young people who have become engaged in altercations.
? Delivery of an anti-knife crime workshop engaging 15 young people in understanding the risks, consequences, law and dangers of carrying sharps.
The Youth Café on Fridays could not function without a team of volunteers. The volunteers co-work with Go-Getta trained youth workers to ensure they have the right support at the right time, and are provided with ‘on the job’ training and coaching, which includes learning skills to communicate with young people, set boundaries and challenge unacceptable behaviours within the Youth Café and local community.
Additional, specific training is provided intermittently e.g. coaching skills, child sexual exploitation awareness and food hygiene to continue the professional development of our volunteers.
Each volunteer has an individual skill set and experience and they are encouraged to develop these through their work with the young people. No volunteer is expected to undertake any work or responsibility they are uncomfortable with.
If you would like to support this project as a volunteer, please contact Fiona on 0759 434 4774. We welcome anyone of any age over 18 years old. A volunteer role and application form can be provided on request.