This picture shows the Rural Mobile Provision ‘Snack Wagon,’ with a group of rather cold young people in the Horsham area.
The provision targets young people between 13 and 18 years who may be NEET – not in Education, Employment or Education – going to where they hang out in their local communities.
The ‘graffiti-ed’ vehicle acts as an informal meeting place, giving young people a safe space where they are already gathering. It also provides a base for specialist detached youth work. Staff work carefully to respect their culture and deliver a service that meet their needs. As they tend to move around, so does the vehicle!
Youth Workers engage with the young people on specific issues, providing information and advice on a range of topics. They signpost to relevant agencies if appropriate. Using a range of interesting resources, Youth Workers explore the issues that really matter to young people and encourage have a voice and also volunteer on the Snack Wagon. This reduces numbers of young people engaging in anti-social behaviour, as they’re getting involved in their communities in a positive way.
The Snack Wagon is an innovative joint provision between West Sussex County Council and Horsham District Council. This is a great example of partnership working, meeting the needs of a customer group who can easily be overlooked.