Skip to main content

Read the December 2019 Essex Youth Service Newsletter!

11 December 2019
Young People
Youth Service

Helping young people in Essex to get the most out of school, work and life.

Plan B celebrates being Highly Commended at national awards ceremony!

Our Plan B Team have been nationally recognised winning the Highly Commended ‘Advice and Guidance Award’ at the Children & Youth People Now Awards 2019. We are so proud of them and their hard work supporting young people. ECC Councillor Ball joined the Plan B table to celebrate their amazing achievement.

We are currently recruiting for our January programme, if you know any 16-24 year-olds who are not in any employment, education or training, we can help them.

See full details on our web page 


A growing number of schools achieve the National Young Carers in Schools Award

Young Carers

Congratulations to Greensward Academy on achieving Bronze and Silver in the National Young Carers in Schools Award. Counsellor Malcom Maddox, Councillor Carole Weston and Lynda Ketteridge presented the school with their plaques.

Councillor Ray Gooding awarded Basildon Lower and Upper Academy with a Bronze and Silver Award. Assistant Director of Education for South, Lisa Fergus awarded Felmore Primary and Northlands Primary with a Bronze Award. Assistant Director of Education Catherine Huttley awarded Baddow Hall Junior and Cathedral Primary with a Bronze Award. A huge congratulations to all schools who have achieved or submitted for the Award.

Why submit for an award?

  1. A school will be better equipped to identify who their young carers are, as most of them are hidden.
  2. The award helps schools set up simple and effective provisions for young carers in school, so they are better supported.
  3. It is a completely cost-free award where a school can receive national recognition for their good practice with young carers and receive cost-free guidance & support on the award from Essex Young Carers dedicated Schools Development Coordinators.

If you are a school and would like further details, please contact

National Citizen Service - Autumn Delivery

Autumn Bespoke Projects

Over the Autumn, 109 NCS participants took part in three different bespoke programmes across Essex.  These programmes were delivered at USP – SEEVIC Campus, Market Fields, Chelmsford College and Edith Borthwick. 

Young people from USP College were all Level 1 learners and completed NCS as part of their enrichment hours required to complete their course. They completed 3 different social action projects.These included building benches and planting trees, creating an awareness campaign around invisible disabilities and a project at Hopes Green Care Home spending valuable time with the residents. Read more about what the NCS team got up to! 

If you are a school or college and interested in running your own bespoke NCS programme contact us on

Young people striving for improvements in SEND provision

Good practice seekers

Good Practice Seekers are children/young people who have taken part in a training programme and created an inspection checklist to identify good practice across Essex schools and provide recommendations for improvements to SEND provision.

Working together with the Multi Schools Council, our Good Practice Seekers have carried out their first four school inspection visits. They are now busy writing up their reports and recommendations. In January 2020, the schools will receive their report and certificates with a maximum 5 Gold Star rating for meeting SEND needs and inclusion.

The mission statement the young people created is:

Good Practice Seekers aim to unite EVERYONE with the target of achieving equal opportunities in education.

Their goals are:

  • All children & young adults to have a voice
  • Help schools to make improvements
  • Make schools a better & happier place
  • Make sure no one is bullied and discriminated against
  • Make sure everyone gets the help they need

If you would like to find out more, contact:

Basildon Local champions are being celebrated!

70 years

As part of Basildon New Town's 70th Anniversary, Basildon Council and Eastgate Shopping Centre are celebrating 70 years with 70 Basildon Heroes.

Throughout 2019 we have received Basildon Hero nominations from members of the public, for the work we, and our partner organisations do for young people in Basildon.

All of our nominated Basildon Heroes will be honoured at a reception with the Mayor in late 2019. The nominations include: Gateway SEN Youth Club, Basildon Borough Youth Council and Rachel Ojo for her work as an anti-bullying champion. Find out more about the nominees.

Rachel Ojo wins BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award


YEA member, Rachel Ojo has won the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award. During her 4 years as a YEA member, Rachel, aged 17, campaigns for change and better futures for young people in the UK. Rachel was invited to London to receive her award at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards, which was televised on BBC2 on Saturday 7th December at 4pm. Hear more from Rachel herself.

The Young Essex Assembly to campaign for our environment in 2020

The Young Essex Assembly (YEA) is the elected youth council for Essex and is supported by Essex Youth Service. There are 75 YEA members, representing all districts across Essex, who decide on the priorities for young people and campaign to make a positive difference.

On the 8th of November 2019, our YEA members joined other Members of Youth Parliament from across the country at the House of Commons to debate the top five issues voted for by young people in UK Youth Parliament “Make Your Mark” ballot. Taking place annually, It's the biggest youth consultation in the UK. 26,991 young people voted in Essex in 2019.

The issue of ‘Protect the Environment’ gained a staggering 12,665 votes - the highest Essex vote. ‘Protect the Environment’ will be the YEA’s focus for their 2020 campaign.

“We are excited to have climate Change as our YEA focus topic which is very prevalent in the media at the moment and very relevant to young people.” Tyler 2019

Youth Voice Development Day - 228 young people learn about youth voice and democracy

On the 13th November the YEA held their Youth Voice Development Day at Chelmsford City Race Course with 19 Secondary Schools across Essex taking part. Hosted by members of the YEA, a colossal 228 young people aged between 11 to 14 years old learnt about youth voice and democracy.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the YEA and we are always encouraging new young people to join us. Are you interested? Visit: or email: 

Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award Achievers attend St James’ Palace

On Tuesday 26th November at St James’ Palace, a ceremony was held to celebrate the incredible achievements of Essex young people who have completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. HRH The Earl of Wessex congratulated and spoke to our young people at length, before being presented their awards by David Lowe – mountaineer, explorer and serving member of the British Army. It takes at least 12 months of solid commitment to achieve the gold award, and involves true determination, teamwork and resilience to complete the 4-day, 3- night expedition. Between 2018-19, 3067 young people started their DofE Award, with 237 starting their gold.

Did you know we run the DofE Award all year round, we support schools to deliver a high-quality award, and deliver directly from eight youth centres. Sign up here!

Transform a child’s life, be the parent they need.

Stock image of woman and boy

In 2020, it is predicted that 500 Essex children will come into care. Essex County Council needs your help.

Many foster children have a difficult start in life. By taking in a child and giving them a safe, stable and nurturing home - perhaps for the first time - you could set them on the path to a better future.

Essex County Council can best match children to your family, the training is local, support is 24/7 and your family can receive up to £483 per week, per child. You don’t need any specific qualifications to foster, just patience, time and a commitment to improving children’s lives.

Pop along to an informal event where you can hear first-hand from people who foster and learn about some of the children who need homes. Social workers and foster carers will be on hand to chat and answer your questions.

Dates for 2020!

January 2nd - Girls Work programme launching:

Our successful male mentoring project is rolling out to girls!!! First group work sessions are being set up now. Delivery will take place over five weeks and will include:

  • Making relationships work
  • Relationships in a digital world
  • Confidence
  • Manners and respect
  • Consequences
  • Healthy relationships

For further details please email:

January 10th - Duke of Edinburgh's Gold celebration:

In addition to a visit to the palace, this is a local event recognising young people who have completed their Gold DofE award under the Essex County Council licence. This is a great occasion, held at Chelmsford Cathedral and enables the whole family to share in the celebration.

For more information, please email:

January to March - Prison No Way:

We are delivering a programme called ‘Prison No Way’ to eight schools in Braintree in January. Young people are becoming increasingly susceptible to being drawn in to criminal activity, whether they are aware of this or not. Over the duration of the programme, the young people involved will explore the realities of crime and dispel the myths surrounding it, gaining an increased knowledge of the impact it can have on their lives - now and in the future. This interactive programme is based on informal education techniques that empower young people to maximise their learning and gain positive outcomes.

If you are a school and would like ‘Prison No Way’ to run at your school, contact:

January 23rd - The Youth Matters Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners conference:

Targeted at Essex secondary schools, this conference aims to tackle the growing issue of gang activity. The day will include sessions that offer diversionary activities for young people at risk of getting involved in gang activity. Workshops will take place on Human Trafficking, Hate Crime and Online crime. Young people will be able to hear from national experts such as 'Show Racism the Red Card'. If you're a school and wish to go on the waiting list, contact:

January 27th - Plan B new start dates:

Our award-winning 10-week employability programme starts again in the New Year. This is free of charge to participants. All we ask for is a full commitment to the programme:

  • w/c 27th January in Clacton, Harlow and Maldon 
  • w/c 3rd February in Basildon 

 To refer a young person, contact:

During this festive season, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!