The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Ambassador, Phillip Grove, recently visited projects at YSS that are making a positive difference to the lives of hundreds of young people.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), John Campion, commissions services from YSS for people who are in, or at risk of being involved in, the criminal justice system across West Mercia.  These include Accessing Resources in the Community (ARC) and Divert, which provide one to one support to those aged between 13 and 24 years old. ARC and Divert use Keyworkers and Volunteer Mentors to support those referred, and help to provide access to community based activities and other appropriate services. The young people often have a myriad of different issues to deal with, and many feel that what is on offer in the community is not for 'people like them'. YSS changes that perception by introducing them to a wide variety of activities, including sports clubs, employment training programmes, educational courses and community activities like art or music groups.

The PCC also commissions the Employment Support Programme (ESP) which provides support to people as they try to find work. The project works to break down barriers to employability, with the ultimate aim of finding sustainable employment.

Phillip Grove, PCC Ambassador, met with Lorraine Preece, YSS Chief Executive, and Dave Andrewartha, Operations Manager at YSS, to find out more about the projects and the people YSS is able to help. He said: “It was really interesting to find out more about the projects, and to hear about some of the fantastic work that is undertaken with the individuals who are referred. It’s great to see that the projects, which have been commissioned by John Campion, are making such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, said: “Tackling the root causes of crime and fixing some of the underlying issues in our society are both vital to building safer communities. Projects such as the ones I fund via YSS address these issues directly. They are about setting our young people on good, positive tracks in life. Giving them the best possible chances, both for the benefit of themselves and the wider community.”

Dave Andrewartha, who manages the ARC, Divert and ESP projects, commented: “It was wonderful to meet Phillip and great to be able to share with him the difference we have been able to make to people’s lives. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner and wouldn’t be able to make this difference without his help.”

ARC was founded in April 2016, whilst Divert was set up in August 2017. During that time, the projects have provided support to approximately 250 young people who are in, or at risk of being involved in, the Criminal Justice System, whilst ESP has helped 150 individuals break down the barriers to employability.

Find out more about ARC, Divert or the Employment Support Programme, or make a donation to any of these projects here. To find out more please call 07791 764 140.