Mandy Coppin, chief executive of Streetwise celebrates 25 years of Streetwise success in the North East.

NORTH EAST CHARITY CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE

NORTH EAST CHARITY Streetwise is celebrating 25 years of providing free help and support to young people across the region.

Over the past 25 years the charity has helped over 300,000 young people in the North East by providing free, confidential and non-judgmental information and advice support services.

Its services include an open access drop-in for information, advice and guidance; a sexual health service; detached outreach; and counselling both face-to-face and online. These services help enhance young people’s personal, social and emotional development, equipping them with skills for the future.

Mandy Coppin, chief executive of Streetwise said: “The charity has grown from humble beginnings from when we started delivering services from the Bigg Market in 1991 to working with over 8,000 young people a year from our current city centre location.

“Over the last 25 years, with the support of the public, local businesses, Local Authorities, Public Health and Local and National Trusts, the charity has helped to change the lives of thousands of young people helping them to realise their aspirations. Our young volunteers are a credit to the people of the North East and I am proud to be part of such an exciting charity.”

To celebrate the charity’s impressive achievements over the last 25 years, Streetwise has launched its ‘Hour North East’ campaign to encourage the region’s business community to pledge to fund just one, five, 25 or 50 hours of counselling for a North East young person which will help local young people to overcome depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bullying and trauma.

Mandy added: “By getting involved with Hour North East, business leaders can give local young people the ability to overcome these problems and empower them to grow in confidence, develop self-worth, acknowledge their skills and enhance their creativity to become stronger, confident adults of the future. Young people achieve great things with the right help, at the right time at the right place. Life can be a challenge for anyone, and for young people our counselling can be the difference between setting their life on the right track now or the continued downward spiral of depression.

“It is now more important than ever to give support to young people in our region who are at greater risk of presenting anxiety, stress and low confidence in part due to the pressures of social media. Just this month Instagram has been named the worst social network for cyberbullying, with 42% of all young people who have been bullied online claiming that it happened on Instagram”.

“Of those who have been cyberbullied, it has been reported that 41% have gone on to develop social anxiety.”

The main issues young people present when accessing Streetwise services include anxiety, stress, low confidence and self-esteem; high expectations from others, including school and family; relationships, sexuality, depression and self-harm. Through ‘Hour North East’, Streetwise aims to provide 2,000 hours of counselling to vulnerable teenagers and young people across our region.

In 2016/17 nearly 20% of the young people who accessed the Streetwise counselling service presented anxiety/depression as their main issue at the time of assessment. A Streetwise service user said: “I can’t even thank you enough for helping me through my really rough times. I honestly don’t think I could have got this far by myself.”

By supporting Streetwise, North East businesses will be enabling the charity to increase the number of young people accessing its services, including young men and people from Black Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds as well as increasing access to services for young people not in Education Employment or Training (NEETS).

To celebrate their 25th birthday, Streetwise has searched the North East for 25 Inspirational Young People to be presented with an Award at their ‘Summer Blast from the Past’ birthday celebration event to be held at Wylam Brewery, Exhibition Park on Wednesday 30th August 2017.

As a charity, Streetwise relies on philanthropy from a range of funders who recognise the importance of its work and the clear benefit it provides to young people. To find out more about how to support ‘Hour North East’ please email; mandy@streetwisenorth.org.uk

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