On 1 February 2020, we transferred the delivery of our Youth Service and Young Carers Service to Torbay Youth Trust.

Since the transfer, Torbay Youth Trust working closely with Children’s Services has gone from strength to strength, and together they have continued to identify and support young people and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Youth Service currently works with a wide range of young people in Torbay who face challenging circumstances and are in need of ongoing support and guidance. The Young Carers Service supports a significant number of young carers who look after parents and other loved ones.

Despite the pandemic, Torbay Youth Trust have made significant developments in terms of expanding their offer of support to the young people that need it the most.

One of the key advantages in transferring the services to Torbay Youth Trust is its ability to bid for grant funding under its charitable status. The Trust also benefits from being an active member of Torbay’s ‘Imagine This Partnership’ which now includes 43 organisations working with children and young people across the bay.

In the first 9-months of the contract, Torbay Youth Trust has worked hard to increase the presence of the Youth Service and Young Carers Service within the area, so that the voices and needs of vulnerable young people are clearly heard in these challenging times. It has also set up a new Youth Forum, secured funding from the Diversiteen Community Interest Company to support young people from the LGBTQ+ community, and has been accepted onto an international research project focused on the emotional well-being of young carers.

The Trust will shortly be launching a new website and has many exciting plans for the future.

Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “Since we transferred these vital youth services to Torbay Youth Trust, we are delighted that so much has already been achieved. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Torbay Youth Trust are delivering on the service requirements and helping us with the delivery of our long- term strategies of ensuring young people are healthy, make positive choices and influence their own future”.

Johanna Morrell, Director at Torbay Youth Trust, said; “The transfer of services came just 6-weeks before the first national lockdown, which meant we had to adapt very quickly in order to move to virtual delivery. The young people, parents and carers we work with have responded so positively. We were particularly touched when one of our young carers was interviewed on the Radio 4 Today Programme during the first national lockdown and spoke about how our vital support had been to her and her Dad. And our brilliant Children in Care Council (now including Care Leavers for the first time) has managed to continue to feed thoughts and experiences of being in care back to the Local Authority, via Zoom groups, interviews and podcasts.

“As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen an increasing number of young people asking for more emotional and well-being support. In response we have worked closely with local partners to ensure these amazing young people have more access to activities and opportunities that can enrich their lives despite the restrictions the pandemic has thrown at them”.

Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “Since the transfer the offer to young people within Torbay has massively grown and become much broader. The work undertaken has been challenging, but we have continued to work together to meet the needs of vulnerable and difficult to reach young people living in Torbay”.

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