Mid Sussex group scoops national award

The YMCA Downslink Group has scooped a national award for its Positive Placements project. Picture: Julian Dodd
The YMCA Downslink Group has scooped a national award for its Positive Placements project. Picture: Julian Dodd

A Mid Sussex group which helps young people deal with a range of issues has scooped a national award.

The YMCA Downslink Group helps transform the lives of vulnerable young people and connects them with mentors in their communities.

Their Positive Placements project, which is funded by Mid Sussex District Council, helps 16 to 25 year-olds deal with a range of issues from neglect and abuse to mental health issues and a reliance on addictive substances.

The group topped the Advice and Guidance category at the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017 at a gala ceremony in London on November 22.

Councillor Norman Webster said: “Positive Placements is a wonderful project that has the power to transform the lives of vulnerable young people and I’m proud that we are funding it in Mid Sussex.

“The scheme helps young people who have lost their way to gain confidence, improve their communication skills and discover what they want to do with their lives.

“It is a tremendously empowering project that helps many young people to manage their issues, move out of supported housing and live more independent lives.”

Tracey Wilkes, Welfare and Engagement manager for YMCA Downslink Group, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to win the Advice and Guidance Award at the Children and Young People Now Awards 2017.

“We had some really tough competition from other projects all over the country but it just shows an amazing reflection of the hard work all our incredible volunteers do in making a difference to the lives of the young people we work with.

“Thank you so much to all the staff and volunteers who make this project such a success.

“We really value your ongoing support and hard work to make us a double award winning project.”

For more information about the Positive Placements project visit www.ymcadlg.org/training-and- education/positive-placements.