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Project information

Youth workers online (Y.W.O.)

The Y.W.O. is a revolutionary idea aimed to create and develop a service where youth workers are trained to reach young people in Somerset via social media. Face to face support for young people is becoming more difficult. 65% of young people are sat at home digitally connecting with others!

September 2018 - April 2020

Charity information: YMCA Mendip

YMCA Mendip logo
  • Need


    To provide a safe environment and support for young people both in real life and online. Those who are using Social Media and online platforms can face many challenges including: staying safe online, grooming, sexual exploitation and the sharing of material which both incites serious incidents of violence in real life. Other serious issues highlighted by the media recently have been around racial and religious hatred, gang violence, cyberbullying, sexting, encouraging county lines.


    The Y.W.O. project will provide support, advice and help address the challenges young people face online. In the report “The real roots of youth violence” Social Media is a Catalyst and Trigger for Youth Violence Criminologist, youth worker and university tutor Craig Pinkney recommends “Intervention - Where appropriate, professionals working with young people should actively use social media (particularly online content that is fully public) to better inform and support their frontline practice

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Involve young people, in every process of the new service (design, service planning, outcomes)


    » Recruitment of workers
    » Workers Research and develop “youth workers online” service with young people.
    » Focus groups from youth clubs/ schools.
    » Identify digital platforms / patch for workers to safely engage young people.

    What success will look like

    Testimonials from young people trained and involved

    Aim 2

    Make connection with young people that would not engage in youth services, via social media.


    » Professional Youth Workers working with young people, where they are in online communities.

    What success will look like

    The number of on line groups we engage with (likes, followers, shares obtained)

    Aim 3

    Reduce “youth violence” encouraging young people to engage in local youth services, youth clubs etc


    » Provide accessible youth work, information,advice and guidance through blog,interactive media,contact via, youth workers directly and youth worker bot

    What success will look like

    Attracting young people to local youth centres (Survey: how did you know about your local youth centre?)

    Aim 4

    Delivering high quality youth work transforming communities online.


    » Training “youth workers” on youth services and agencies available.
    » Linking project with Police and relevant agencies.
    » Signpost young people to other youth agencies and specialist sites, (Ask Frank, young minds, Kooth, SWish).
    » Signposting and reporting safeguarding concerns as appropriate.

    What success will look like

    Publishing and promoting the services we provide as well as other agencies

    Aim 5

    Aim to eventually become sustainable and self-funding


    » Provide sufficient training, up-to-date training on social media for organisations working with young people.

    What success will look like

    Training hours provided to organisations working with young people

  • Impact


    The project will introduce an innovative “young to young” on line advice service. It will influence digital platforms and social network contents. It will reduce youth violence messages and actions, will encourage to enjoy “real” activities and interactions, and will boost a good high content sharing process between young people.


    There is a risk that young people can face unsafe situation on line. To deal with this a YMCA Mendip adult advice workers will monitor and be a reference point for youth workers throughout a weekly meeting connecting with local police or relevant agencies if needed.


    Donors to this project will receive a quarterly newsletter on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Research and development Plan digital strategy and partnerships

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Youth Investment Fund £28,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project will be run on-line focussing on youth social media groups of young Somerset people. It will also involve local youth clubs in Mendip and South Somerset, young associations, and schools to be sure the word will be spread reaching on line young people who spend their leisure time on line at home.


    Young people (11-25) based in Somerset

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    YMCA Mendip has been working for 125 years in supporting young people. We have developed an extensive number of services and have specialised workers and networks with local councils, agencies and police, who together represent strong foundations for this innovative project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mark Willcox

    Project Coordinator (he is our YMCA Mendip Youth and Community Development Manager)