Rockinghorse funded service wins national award.

The Rockinghorse funded Youth Worker Service has won the Safeguarding category in this year’s national...

The Rockinghorse funded Youth Worker Service has won the Safeguarding category in this year’s national Children and Young People Now Awards!

The awards are the gold standard for anyone working with children, young people and families and showcase organisations like Rockinghorse that work, day in, day out, to improve the lives of children and young people in their communities.

Our Youth Worker service was nominated, along with six other finalists, in the Safeguarding category. The award recognises organisations that have made the biggest contribution to keeping children and young people safe from harm, with the judges looking for examples of exceptional teamwork and multi-agency working.

The service, funded by Rockinghorse and the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership, and run by The Trust for Developing Communities, offers support, advice and signposting to young people coming into the A&E at the Royal Alex with injuries, overdoses and mental health issues related to situations going on outside the hospital.

These skilled interventions quickly build relationships with at-risk young people. The youth worker can then help to create joint safety plans with the young people so that they are able to be active participant in their own support.

The service then enables these young people and their families to reflect on the reasons why they ended up in the hospital and gives them help to find ways through and out of their situations using signposting to other local services near to where they live.

The service was also recently featured on BBC South East Today:

The need for the resource came about following the dramatic rise in young people coming to the hospital in crisis. The staff were seeing incidents of self-harm, violence and eating disorders on an alarming scale and despite their absolute best efforts, they simply didn’t have the capacity to treat the underlying issues that have resulted in their visit to the hospital.

Dr Mohammed Rahman, Paediatric Consultant and Lead for the HDU at The Alex, is at the sharp end of this crisis, seeing hundreds of young patients a day coming through the A&E at the hospital.

Dr Rahman said, “As a team we do the best we can during the time these young people are in hospital, but we simply don’t have the time to explore some of the underlying issues resulting in their visit to A&E or follow up cases in a way that might prevent them from needing to be re-admitted.”

The staff explained that having a resource based right where it’s needed in the A&E department would mean that vulnerable young people could be more easily identified and helped at the point where this additional support is most likely to be successful.

So, we partnered with The Trust for Developing Communities (TDC), a Brighton based charity experienced in delivering youth work in the city, to fund a Youth Worker based in the hospital, taking a preventative approach with children and young people frequently in the care of the hospital with deteriorating mental health.

Following the introduction of this service, Dr Rahman has noticed a real difference in the department: “With the introduction of a Youth Worker we can now point these vulnerable teenagers, who present to our Emergency Department, to someone who might be able to help steer them in the right direction.

“Where once we felt helpless as staff within the Department, we now feel hopeful that we can actually make a difference.”

The service means that children and young people struggling as a result of mental health issues, substance abuse issues or because of violence and exploitation, can get the help they need at an early stage and before it’s too late.

Donna Holland, Rockinghorse CEO, attended the award ceremony at the Hurlingham Club in London last night with Youth Workers Sean Older and Roman waters, said, “We are absolutely thrilled that this amazing service has won this prestigious national award. It’s fantastic recognition for a sector leading service that makes a huge difference to young people across Sussex.

“Not only does it offer support to vulnerable teenagers who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, but it also supports our wonderful colleagues within the NHS, meaning that visitors to the Children’s Accident and Emergency Department receive the highest possible level of wrap-around support during what can often be a very challenging situation.”

To find out more about these awards, click here.