Motiv8 youth support services across Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant see 60 per cent increase in need throughout Covid-19 pandemic

SUPPORT services have seen a surge in vulnerable young people needing help after being hit hard by the pandemic.

By Belinda Dickins
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:50 pm

Staff and volunteers at youth charity Motiv8 are pleased to be providing group work at community hubs again as Covid-19 restrictions begin to lift.

This follows a 60 per cent increase in numbers of vulnerable young people reaching out for help over the past year, with more than 1,500 young people supported through detached sessions across Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport.

Motiv8 supports vulnerable young people aged nine to 19, providing one-to-one mentoring for young people and their families, targeted group work, and community support.

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Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood and Lady Mayoress Debbie Wood visited one of Motiv8's regular hubs at the Blue Lagoon in Hilsea

Becky Stotesbury, fundraising manager, said: ‘In the last 12 months, Motiv8 has experienced a 60 per cent increase in numbers of young people reaching out for help through our support services.

‘Many more young people than ever before need a trusted youth worker to help strengthen their emotional health and well-being. Motiv8 enables young people to gain the skills, resilience and opportunities they need to make long lasting change, to thrive and to feel safer within their communities.’

The Motiv8 Youth Voice group, made up of young people currently being supported, have highlighted how unsafe young people have been feeling at the moment and the increased anxiety they are facing surrounding the outside world.

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Chief executive Clare Ansell added: ‘I think young people have had a really difficult time of it during the pandemic, particularly around feeling quite hidden and not having anywhere to turn to.

‘We’re trying to coax young people back because it’s really important they have spaces where they can meet and talk about things that are affecting them.’

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Rob Wood and Lady Mayoress Debbie Wood visited the regular hub at the Blue Lagoon in Hilsea on Wednesday to gain an insight into the important work happening in the north of the city, and to speak with young people about their feelings and needs.

Cllr Wood said: ‘It's been great to see the fantastic work Motiv8 are providing for local young people. Young people have been hit hard by this pandemic and that's why it's really important that we get behind local youth charities like Motiv8 who are providing vital support for young people.

‘It was great to hear directly from youth workers and local young people about issues affecting them and what more we can do to help young people emerge from this pandemic positively.’

One of the sessions the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress visited was the wellbeing hub delivered as part of the Street Strong Youth Project, which provides youth provision across the city in partnership with Active Communities Network and Pompey in the Community.

Wednesday’s session saw a group of young people completing a ‘stress bucket’ drawing, to discuss their emotions and learn about tools to help with emotional health and wellbeing.

Alongside the wellbeing hub, Motiv8 also runs a bike education programme to help combat youth unemployment and give young people valuable skills to help them secure opportunities in the future.

Young people were able to come along and learn how to fix their bikes, with the hub open every Wednesday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm next to the Blue Lagoon.

For more information, contact [email protected] or call (023) 9283 2727.

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