The Young Women's Outreach Project was established in 1992 to provide a specialist service to young women aged 11 to 19 years across in the North East of England. We work with young women and young mothers supporting and guiding them through crises in their lives. These crises can be finding out that they are pregnant, problems or struggling in schools, mental health issues, rape, self harm, lack of confidence and self belief, violence or sexual exploitation, the list goes on and on.
Many young women and mothers are referred into the project by a vast range of professionals, such as social workers, teachers, emotional well-being and family intervention teams. Young women often refer themselves or ring in when they feel they are in crisis or need support through a particular issue.
Once we receive a referral we then visit the young woman to assess needs and to ensure that we are the right people to support her. We are often involved with safeguarding and we ensure our role is about supporting the young woman through the process, with open and an honest approach no matter how difficult.
We offer one to one support, group work and often signpost (and hand hold) young women to other services and professionals who we feel meet their needs. Our one to one work includes counselling, domestic violence and child sexual exploitation work, young mothers outreach support, and adaptable intensive support to meet a young women's individual needs.
Young women and young mothers also have the opportunity to join bespoke groups; some can be as small as two group members, others may have up to twelve group members depending on the level of need and the issues that need to be worked on. Intervention time can be as little as 6 weeks to 18 months.
Many of the young women and mothers who are referred to us do join our groups; the focus of these groups is mainly about personal and social development. Once in the groups many young women say they feel less alone, listened to and supported in the issues that are affecting their lives at the time. They develop positive relationships, gain support from other young women; they learn coping mechanisms and strategies. We support young women until they feel that they are ready to take the next steps in life.
Progression leads to young women gaining accreditation, many of the young women who attend do not have any qualifications due to the complexity and the issues in their lives. We aim to re- engage young women and mothers back into education, training or employment.