Who are we?
We are Citizens Advice Elmbridge (West) a local charity serving the communities of Walton on Thames, Weybridge and Hersham in Surrey.
What do we do?
We support everybody experiencing a problem or set of problems in life, in need of advice, to find a way forward and a resolution. We provide advice on Debt, Benefits, Housing, Immigration, Employment issues, Family and Relationship problems and Consumer matters.
What is our aim - why are we raising money?
Currently less then 5% of our client base is under 25 years old, yet this age group accounts for just under 30% of the communities population. (2011 census) We need to support our young people to give them the best start in life.
How will we use the money raised to deliver our vision?
The project will be designed and delivered by young people for young people.
Funding is required to recruit a Youth Services Manager who will recruit, train and manage young people volunteering their time, to deliver the project. We will also need to cover training costs and volunteer expenses.
The project ethos is that young people can be more prepared for life by understanding their rights and responsibilities. We can empower young people experiencing problems in life knowing they can confidently access advice services that will help them.
We envisage the focus advice topic areas will be achieving and attaining Financial Sustainability, Debt, Benefits, Employment, Housing , Keeping Safe and Healthly Relationships.
The project will have 2 core strands for effective delivery.
Strand 1 - developing 14 & 15 year old's - to train as peer mentors. This strand will have a strong focus on children from vulnerable groups such as looked after children, children attending pupil referral units, or those have been excluded from main stream education and young carers.
Strand 2 - developing 16-24 year old's - recruit and train young advisors to be fully trained in the focus advice topic areas. (Debt, Benefits, Housing, Financial Sustainability, Healthy Relationships.)Young Advisors will deliver the service across the community in specially selected youth settings (Youth Centres, Schools, Colleges) and also via digital channels such as text, webchat and social media messaging.
Who will benefit and how?
We are targeting Young People aged 14-24 to benefit from this project with the following expected impact:-
- Increase levels of awareness and trust of accessing advice services.
- Early intervention, prevent issues escalating.
- Help young people to feel more confident handling finances and budgeting.
- Help young people to identify challenges and how to access the right information to solve problems.
- Increase peoples understanding of how to stay safe.
- Provide an opportunity to up-skill and improve employability prospects.
Funding the project
We estimate that the annual costs of running this project are £60k per year. We would be most grateful to supporters from our community pledging their support to enable us to run a test pilot scheme with this specific funding.