Purnells are pleased to announce that we are working with Dorchester Youth and Community Centre to fund a program called NETWORKS in Dorchester for young people aged 15-21. The project is set up for young people who are not in education, employment or training (“NEET”) and for young people at risk of becoming NEET.
The drop in session, which runs on a Monday afternoon, is a place where young people can get support, advice and guidance from qualified Youth Workers. Fundamentally NETWORKS is a safe, social space where young people can be themselves.
NETWORKS is also about giving young people the skills, knowledge and support to get themselves where they want to be, that could be for example, support from Youth Workers to overcome barriers to get them back to school, on to a course or taking up a voluntary role.
For some young people NETWORKS provides an opportunity to get support which is consistent and non-judgemental with a chance to work on life skills and have a hot meal each week. The project is very much led by the young people who walk through the door.
Each week young people pick a topic or theme to explore, this ensures Youth Workers are providing the most relevant information that young people need. So far topics such as, staying safe, substance misuse, child exploitation and county lines have been covered. Throughout the sessions young people can access one to one support at any time.
The centre itself has an industry standard music studio, sports area, DJ booth/dance hall, pool table, table football, break out room and kitchen and young people are never bored.
NETWORKS is about working in partnership with external services for young people to provide them with as many opportunities as possible to develop and thrive; which is why young people can use NETWORKS as a place to find out about other services and have Youth Workers supporting them all the way.
At present the project has young people doing Dorset Awards and taking up volunteering roles in the community. Young people are learning how to cook for themselves and they are widening their support networks and making new friends.
Purnells are happy to be working with Dorchester Youth and Community Centre to provide this weekly session and we hope that it will continue to make a difference to the local community and improve the lives of young people in the local area.