November has seen the start of a concerted effort by Citizens Advice Hart to begin a conversation with the area’s 16-25 year olds about their awareness of advice provision, and on what shape they might most want it come in over the coming years.
It began with an assembly at Yateley Sixth Form by our Advice Service Manager Michelle. As well as delivering a presentation and answering questions, she launched a survey, which Citizens Advice Hart is inviting anyone aged 16-25 to take part in.
“Issues of concern in this general age group are on the rise, yet the patterns of how they are managing to access support from organisations like Citizens Advice is stagnating, so it looks like they need to have more signposting of the advice sources they can access,” explains Michelle.
“We appreciate that we continually need to adapt our services to accommodate that age range accordingly too, which is one of the reasons we have launched this conversation with 16-25 year olds in Hart, asking them about the kind of issues they need support with, and how they might best want to receive help.”
“Yateley Sixth Form students were really welcoming – it was an absolute pleasure to join them for an assembly. I can’t compliment them highly enough. I was rather nervous stepping back into an education environment, worried about whether I would be able to generate enough interaction, but the students were particularly good with banter around the issues raised,” added Michelle.
The sort of problems discussed which might face anyone in the audience, which an advice service might be able to provide help with included:
- Housing and homelessness (like being kicked out of home by your parents, and having nowhere to go);
- Consumer rights (such as what to do when you buy some clothes, they have a fault, but the shop says you can’t take them back);
- Education (like knowing where to begin when you’ve decided you want to go to university);
- Bullying (such as where to turn when you are being abused online);
- Money issues (like how to manage your finances, and avoid the prospect of out of control personal debt);
- Employment (such knowing your rights in the workplace, or dealing with job interviews).
The assembly was hosted by Ed Mather, Yateley School’s Assistant Headteacher, and Director of Sixth Form.
“Admissions tutors and HR managers all agree on one thing: they want people who have gone the extra mile. They want people who have done more than just studied and earned a few quid putting chips in a box or beans on a shelf. These recruiters want people who have shown dedication, empathy and generosity. People who have seen a cause and stepped up to the mark. They want volunteers. So at Yateley Sixth Form, we offer lots of volunteering opportunity be that within our campus or elsewhere with local groups. Students have done everything from helping with reading projects to befriending old folk. And you know what? They love it. So set yourself apart, come to Yateley and get volunteering.”
“The assembly from Citizens Advice Hart showed not only what confidential advice and information is out there for all age groups – but a really worthwhile powerhouse of volunteer activity that many are already involved in within the local community, and that our students and others might want to consider as an volunteer outlet for any number of their skills,” explained Ed.
- If you are aged 16-25 years, it would be great if you could complete it, so that we can ensure we shape our service to better meet your needs.
- Or, if you know someone in this age range, it would be a great help if you could pass the link on to them, so that we can reach as many young people as possible. It is all completely confidential.
Whether you are aged 16-25 years, or older, if you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, find out more by contacting Jo Francis on 01252 878435 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org