With support received from Newcastle City Council’s Newcastle Fund and players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Children North East has been able to provide extended counselling sessions to vulnerable young people in Newcastle and has seen an increase in young males accessing the service.
The counselling service, provided by Children North East’s West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES), allows young people to talk through issues that are causing them distress, including financial issues and family or relationship troubles. The counselling service is open to young people aged 13-25 who live, work and study within the Newcastle area.
With records showing rates of suicide amongst young males in the north east as being high, and accounting for 24% of all deaths in 2013 in England and Wales amongst 20-34 year old males, the service has seen a 75% increase in referrals for young males in the last six months.
Most counselling services offer a standard 6 to 8 sessions but WEYES offers up to 20 sessions providing the time and space for young people to fully explore their issues with a trained counsellor. This has been reported as a key strength by young people who have accessed the service and also organisations that refer young people such as CAMHS, GP practices and the local voluntary sector.
Lee Peacock, Service Manager at Children North East, said: “With the fantastic support provided by Newcastle City Council and players of People’s Postcode Lottery, this service has been able to provide support to many more young people in Newcastle. Since the service began in May 2014, self referrals are becoming more common amongst young people accessing the service and we like to think this is partly due to the fact that young people trust WEYES as a place to come to for help with the issues they face.”
One user of the Counselling service said: “It has been great to have the support and chance to talk through my worries. I think everything is perfect with the service that I’ve been offered.”
WEYES was set up in 1997, operating out of a converted Victorian terraced house on Westgate Road. Since then it has supported over 17,000 young people on a range of issues including education, healthcare, employment and training, housing, personal safety and crime.