YOUTH clubs in Denholme and Wilsden were highlighted during a discussion of Bradford Council’s Youth Service work across the area.

Shipley Area Committee heard about youth workers’ well-attended open-access youth sessions as well as their specialist efforts to support vulnerable youngsters.

They learned the Youth Service provided activities in safe places where young people could develop a sense of belonging, socialise with peers, and develop relationships with adults they could trust.

Current projects included a scheme funded by the NHS to provide “buddy support” for young people who had mental health issues but did not need to receive medical or specialist support.

Youth workers are also part of the Early Help Team which offers support to young people with a wide range of issues including family breakdown, domestic violence, anger management, isolation, drug and alcohol problems, and non-attendance at school.

All youth projects in the area offer advice and information to young people weekly on issues such as sexual health and healthy relationships, child and sexual exploitation, education careers, drugs and alcohol, and racism.

This has included a visit by the HALE Project’s bus to Denholme to offer sexual health advice and chlamydia testing.

Police joined with youth workers to deliver sessions about anti-social behaviour, drugs and alcohol at Denholme and Wilsden.

An ex-heroin addict recruited by Youth Services regularly attends Denholme Youth Café speak honestly to the young people about her experiences with heroin.

Half a dozen young people from Wilsden Youth Project’s Youth Committee meet regularly with Wilsden Parish Council to discuss local issues, offer their views and opinions and get involved in community life.

The Youth Service highlighted “invaluable” support given by Wilsden Parish Council in funding a youth worker and paying towards the youth club’s rent in the Village Hall. The clu regularly attracts young people from Cullingworth, Haworth, Long Lee and Harden.

Local businesses have contributed to youth centres, youth cafes, and the annual Christmas Camp for vulnerable young people at Blackhills Scout camp.

The area committee meeting was attended by three young people have told how they had been personally helped by the support and advice they received from youth workers.

They were thanked by councillors, who have drawn on the views of youngsters in the past when giving grants to local organisations.

Councillors were also told about a pilot programme giving vulnerable youngsters online support and access to trained counsellors 24/7.

Councillors discussed the rise in mental health issues amongst young people, and said this was an area of support work that schools welcomed.