Spurgeons lends counselling support to Sussex Police Youth Programme

Teenager looking at the camera wearing a hoodie.

Spurgeons has joined forces with Sussex Police to offer counselling to youths as part of an intervention programme.

The initiative, named Reboot, is working with children aged 10-17 who are showing signs of being at risk of crime, violence or victimisation.

Helping youths find a better path

When a young person is identified as being at risk, the initial step taken in the Reboot programme is for a police community support officer to visit the child’s home.

‘We look to build engagement and rapport to establish what's going on to get a better understanding of them and their family,’ says Scott Gosling, Reboot Operational Lead at Sussex Police. ‘We might be the first professionals that have ever gone into that address. So just by arriving, we might quickly learn things that are going on that other professionals weren't aware of just through what we can see, smell, and hear.’

By entering the home and working with the family, the support officers look to support the best future outcome for the child.

We really try to work with those young people and their families to flag to them that we're worried,’ explains Scott. ‘We want to try and offer some support to try and get them back on the right track, and support anything they are experiencing.


Positive influences

Following the police intervention, the youths are then referred on to take part in activities and services which will encourage them to follow their hobbies and interests- such as free passes to the gym.

Family support is also provided, through a local organisation called Changing Chances, who look to improve communication and relationships in the home.

The later stages of the programme offer 1-1 support through the Brighton and Hove Albion Foundation. Youths take part in 12 weeks of sessions with a trusted adult mentor, looking at positive influences, role models, and encouraging positive decisions.

At this point, free counselling is offered to the children through Spurgeons. ‘That's recently started and been very popular,’ says Scott.

Young man wearing a hoodie and sat in front of a graffiti wall

Counselling provides a safe, place in which teenagers can explore their emotions and difficulties and gain a better understanding of themselves as they move into adulthood.

Debbie Pattison, Counselling Lead at Spurgeons.

 ‘It helps to boost their self-esteem and confidence together with helping them have more confidence in their social abilities, form better relationships, improve their communication skills and to be better equipped for difficult social situations.’

Changing lives

Scott feels that the counselling provided as part of the Reboot initiative can help youths work past trauma: ‘It can give them that opportunity to reflect on past traumas that possibly they haven't been able to deal with yet or, they've coped with it, but they haven't been able to move on from it.’

The intention of the programme is to lower the crime rate and offer young people the chance at a better life. ‘If we can keep young people out of that at an early stage, then it's more likely that hopefully they won't come to our notice as time goes on both in childhood and adulthood,’ Scott says.

Learn more about counselling at Spurgeons.

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