Stratford Park lodge to become space for youngsters

Youngsters play football

The new hub is set to open by the end of April - Credit: Newham Council

Newham Council is partnering with the Recorder to celebrate Year of the Young Person until February 2022 – celebrating the achievements of young people and highlighting the services and support aimed at them.

Newham Council’s detached youth work team is repurposing a lodge in Stratford Park to provide a safe space for work with young people who regularly use the park.

The team, based primarily in Stratford and Green Street, provide detached youth work support to young people in their environment and on their terms; this includes working with young people in parks, estates and shopping centres.

Mohammed Rafi, senior detached youth worker, said: “Detached youth work is an effective way to engage at risk and vulnerable young people who do not engage in other services.

“We help to create safe social environments in which young people can explore alternative ways of thinking and behaving.

“Our work helps to build trust and an understanding of the issues that young people experience. This means we can provide the right support, interventions and activities to help keep young people safe and realise their full potential.”

Mohammed said that “perceived stigmas” of young people around specialist services often stopped them from seeking and receiving the support that they need and are entitled to.

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Detached youth worker Chelsie Sparks said: “Young people who use Stratford Park told us they want a private space to get help from workers around things like education, training, employment and immigration issues.”

Mohammed added: “The lodge will be used as a safe place to provide crisis counselling and engage young people in positive and enriching activities. They can get support and advice and talk to us about the hardships and joy in their lives.

“We believe that making use of this community space has the potential to improve the lives of many young people and we are looking forward to developing it with them and the local community.”

The team aim to start using the lodge to support interventions with young people from April.