August is proving a busy month for the YSS Divert team in Shropshire, with three weeks of activities arranged for their young service users.

Last week a group attended a horse experience session at The Cavalier Centre, a brand new riding facility in Much Wenlock, recently opened by YSS’s own Patron, The Princess Royal.  This was followed by a boxing lesson at Bright Star Boxing Academy in Shifnal. The young people were taught boxing techniques and skills and had a chance to get in the ring for some sparring practise.

Following the boxing session, one of the young people, Tom (not his real name) said, ‘I have learnt something today, which is that when I get angry I lose’.

Thursday saw a group of young people taking part in a climbing session at Oswestry Climbing Den where they received coaching from Tara Heath. Tara talked the group through the techniques of bouldering, which is climbing without the aid of ropes, and showed them the best way to approach each climb, moving through to more difficult levels.

The aim of each of the activities is to challenge the participants and encourage them to apply focus and problem solving - skills that they can then apply to their everyday lives.

Divert works with 13-16 year olds who are in, or at risk of being involved in, the Criminal Justice System across West Mercia. It is a diversionary service aimed at young people who are displaying anti-social behaviour, have started to disengage or who are feeling lost and alone. Divert uses skilled YSS service coordinators and volunteer mentors to provide one to one support to young people who are referred to the service, helping them to access community based activities and other appropriate services.

For further information about Divert, please see www.yss.org.uk/divert.