Next week we are holding three events at Project John on Cavendish Street, Barrow to bring people together to tackle the issues facing the borough’s youngsters. These include worries about the future, mental wellbeing, relationships and being safe.

We collected the views of nearly 1,000 young people, their parents, carers and professionals this summer. They were asked about their concerns, what help is available - and what good help looks like - and what support is missing. We will share these findings, along with details of our work in the area at three separate sessions on 8, 9 and 13 October.

As Jacqui Wallace, our Cumbria Projects Manager, explained:

“We think this is one of the largest surveys of young people in Barrow, with 850 speaking out about the help they need. We also heard from 85 people who work with them and 42 parents and carers. Half of those who responded say young people are concerned about their future, one in three worry about being bullied and those who are from black, minority, ethnic communities or who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender face a particularly tough time. Young people also want help with drugs and alcohol misuse, mental health and emotional wellbeing, relationships and anti-social behaviour, violence and keeping safe and healthy.

“There’s a lot more to unpack from all three surveys, which we will do at the free events taking place in the second week in October. Barrow’s young people, and those who know them well, have spoken out and this is a great base from which to act” added Jacqui.

“Our first session at the Project John Hub is on Monday 8th October 1-3pm for professionals and practitioners. The Tuesday 9th October session, 6-7.30pm, is for parents and young people. And our third session, on Saturday 13th October 11-2pm, is for the wider community or anyone who can’t make the week day events.” said Jacqui Wallace.

We have had a presence in Barrow since 2015, from which one youth worker is based.

In the last 12 months we have helped 901 children and young people in the Furness area. We also supported parents and other professionals working with young people. The projects include child sexual exploitation, alcohol misuse, being safe online, multi-culturalism, skills for working life, young women and leadership, food poverty workshops and wellness events and relationship building with peers, parents and the police. 

Details of future support on offer, including running resilience programmes in schools to help with mental well-being, will be announced at the three October sessions.

This year the we also moved from Abby Road to the Project John building in the centre of Barrow. Jacqui Wallace says this has been very positive:

“We are now part of a "one-stop shop" for anyone aged 16-24 in the town and beyond. It’s a vibrant and welcoming place for young people, with its bright furniture and crazy colours. It’s also meant we can share ideas about practice, service development and delivery expertise with other organisations that are here, and promote together what’s on offer. We are very excited about future events and activities we can put on including youth work ‘drop- ins’, workshops and information days.

Anyone interested in attending on the 8th, 9th or 13th of October can either turn up on the day, or contact Natalia Wealleans-Turner on 07739 646168 or by email here for more information.

Details of our work in Furness can be found on our Focus on Furness page here.