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Taylor first came to our sports activities, held to give young people something positive to do on weeknights which will build teamwork, skills and support, through a friend who was already engaging with our volleyball activities. Taylor was very shy and struggled to engage with people and to start conversations with other peers or adults. They felt lonely and did not have much of a community to confide within.

However, the team at URBOND built rapport and grew Taylor’s confidence. With time, Taylor started to feel more comfortable with staff and decided to volunteer their time in different activities such as youth club, workshops, etc. The team realised how great Taylor was supporting young people, especially those who were struggling to come out of their shell.

With some mental health challenges, our mentoring scheme supported Taylor in discussing domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect and drug misuse. Through these discussions with us (Taylor had never opened up about it before), our team encouraged professional mental health support and carried on with welfare discussions to support further.

Looking forward, Taylor has carried out work experience at URBOND’s offices, support with his CV and been referred to our long-term partner Richmond Motor Group to receive work experience from them.

Taylor was awarded community engagement award at the URBOND Youth Awards. They have helped bring young people together through URBOND’s activities and events and have now built a great network of relationships through the charity. They continue to thrive.

Here at URBOND, we work on a daily basis with children and young people with socio-economic deprivation, complex social and emotional needs and challenging behaviours. Unfortunately, these needs are commonly misunderstood, misjudged or neglected and often these young people are unfairly treated.

Regrettably, the reality of young people like Taylor, who are struggling with mental health issues, self-harm, victims of abuse etc., could wait on an average up to two years to access some kind of therapy or counselling within the Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service (CAMHS). To address some of these issues, we are offering mentoring sessions with a social work professional. By providing a safe space to talk, we not only get the chance to get to know our young people on a deeper level, but also, we are able to understand their needs, circumstances and wishes. Furthermore, we allow them to express their emotions and concerns in a non-judgemental environment and we offer them tools to navigate, identify and express their feelings in a more constructive and positive way.