Youth Support


General Support

East Sussex Targeted Youth Support (TYS) Service – if you’re aged 11-19 you can use this confidential service when you need advice or support about lots of things: sexual and mental health, drugs and alcohol issues, family and relationships, training, education and money, or if life is just difficult for you. A TYS worker can spend time with you and maybe your family (if you choose) to help you find ways to sort things out. They can also help you to find out about free activities, sport, groups and courses in your area.
Phoneline is open between 11.30am and 2pm, tel. 01323 466665

Charlie’s Youth Access Centre – a drop-in service for the most disadvantaged, disengaged and vulnerable young people aged 15-21. Wednesday 2-5 and Friday 1-6. Staff are on hand to support young people with budgeting advice, college or job applications, and signposting to other relevant services.
This work takes place across the town, and at Charlie’s Youth Centre on Seaside. Charlie’s has a well-equipped kitchen, washing machines and showers which can be used by all young people, as well as internet access and a pool table. For more information on the many projects taking place in this area, please contact Ben West, Youth & Communities Coordinator on or 01323 411718

YMCA Eastbourne and Wealden – an extensive programme of activities and sessions for young people aged 11-24 across Eastbourne. Music projects, freestyle gymnastics, swimming lessons, football and healthy living sessions are just some of the activities on offer. These sessions provide young people with the opportunity to try new things, make new friends and access the support of staff and volunteers. Eastbourne and Wealden YMCA has good relationships with a number of schools and community centres across the region and run a variety of sessions that are designed to give young people information and advice on issues relevant to them:

YMCA Connect is a Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance service (CEIAG). In consultation with teachers, we provide a package tailored to the needs of each school we work with – from one-to-one sessions with a handful students to mock interview days for a whole year group. Our project co-ordinator is Jayne Ayres, and she can be contacted on or 07872 483356.

Wise Up is a project just for girls – working in secondary schools and community centres throughout Eastbourne. It offers a programme of activities, discussion and information, touching on different aspects of health – emotional, mental, physical and sexual. By creating a relaxed and informal environment we hope that the girls will be able to share their concerns and seek the advice and support of both staff and their peers. We have successfully piloted short courses (5 sessions) in schools, and have had great feedback. If you would like to book sessions, or are interested in finding out more about our community-based groups, please contact Chris King on or 07967 274287.

Chaplaincy Service – in keeping with the YMCA’s Christian roots and ethos their part-time Chaplain, Steve Blundell, is available to young people across our projects, regardless of their faith or beliefs. Through drop in sessions and discussion groups, Steve can offer advice, be a listening ear, and pray for a young person if they request this. Currently he runs a weekly session at McKendrick House (Eastbourne) and regularly meets with one young person for mentoring and discipleship. Steve can be contacted at or 07929 208313.

Through Care Service – a group of professionals, which includes personal advisors, social workers, a mental health nurse, the virtual school and a dedicated admin team who will support young people whilst they prepare and after they leave care. Tel. 01273 335150

Housing and Homelessness

Homelessness Prevention Project (YMCA) – provides workshops for school groups, educating young people on the problem of youth homelessness and the reality of independent living. They achieve a number of PSHE objectives and have also been used for GCSE English Literature students, who were studying a text about about youth homelessness. If you would like more information, or to book sessions, please contact Chris King on or 07967 274287.

YMCA Housing – the YMCA is working in partnership with YMCA Downs Link Group in order to increase the housing options they are able to offer the young people living in Eastbourne. These units will present a badly needed alternative for low risk homeless young people and also help to create space in our more intensively supported housing projects for those that need them. The YMCA currently have three properties in Eastbourne that offer young people intensive support:

MCKENDRICK HOUSE – a 17 bed Intensively Supported Residential Centre accommodating previously homeless young people aged 16-25. Call: 01323 439694

BARNABAS HOUSE – a ‘move on’ project, providing accommodation for 8 young people aged 16-25. Most of the residents here will move here as a progression from McKendrick House. It is a step towards independent living and staff support is less intensive. Call: 01323 439694

CHARLIE’S FLATS – a partnership project between ESCC (Care Leavers Service) and Eastbourne & Wealden YMCA. The project is used to house under 18s who have previously been accommodated in Social Services care. Residents are supported by YMCA staff in conjunction with their Personal Advisors from the care leavers team. The accommodation (situated above Charlie’s Youth Access Centre) is made up of 3 bedrooms (one of which is en-suite), a communal living space and bathroom and a kitchen. Call: 01323 411718

The Foyer – a 41 bed home for young people aged 16-25 who are at risk of being homeless or isolated. A referral from a professional is needed. Email or call 01323 734760
Children’s Services Youth Support Team – Housing advice if you’re 16 or 17 and are at risk of becoming homeless. What you tell them will be confidential, and they will only pass it on if they think you are in danger. Visit the team at East Sussex County Council, St Mark’s House, 14 Upperton Road, Eastbourne, BN21 1EP. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm or call 01323 747094

Emergency help: If you can’t go home and it’s the weekend or at night, the best thing to do is find a friend or relative you can stay with.
In an emergency you can contact the East Sussex Emergency Duty Service on 01273 335905. A social worker will phone you back and advise you what to do.

Eastbourne Housing Department – housing advice if you are 18 or over. They can give you advice and help you to find somewhere to live. Contact them Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm by calling 01323 410000 or drop in between 9am – 4pm at 1 Grove Rd, Eastbourne.

Home Works (Southdown Housing) – support to live independently if you are 16 to 64 (a single person, a couple or a family), homeless or at risk of losing of your home. It is a free service which provides flexible and tailored support to prevent homelessness. They can help you to keep or access safe and affordable housing. When you move into your new place, Home Works can help you settle in and learn how to manage things like paying for your gas and electricity.
Email: Telephone: 01273 898700. Alternatively, text: 07773 377 754, fax: 01273 898 701 or send a direct message to them on their Facebook w:

BHT – various housing services available to Eastbourne residents:

Specialist Housing Advice – free and confidential advice to people on possession action, homelessness, suitability of accommodation, tenancy rights, disrepair and allocations policies. This service is available to all Eastbourne residents who have a housing issue that requires legal advice.

Housing Access Project – works with single people and couples who are homeless or insecurely housed and who the local authority have no duty to assist. The Housing Access Project cannot work with families or single people with dependent children. This project works with clients to develop a ‘portfolio of qualities’ to show to prospective landlords, which are designed to support clients in finding and maintaining a tenancy in the private market. BHT’s Eastbourne Housing Access Project works closely with other agencies in Eastbourne. They run a weekly drop in at the Salvation Army, and a twice-weekly drop-in at the Eastbourne Borough Council Office. The project team recognises that sometimes a client is not ready to access their services or to maintain a tenancy, and they will work repeatedly, and without judgement, to help clients gain the skills and ability to maintain a tenancy and prevent themselves from repeat homelessness.

Firm Foundations course – if you live in Eastbourne or Hastings and are 18 or over, the Firm Foundations course can help:
increase your confidence and skills to deal with landlords,
show you where to look for accommodation
overcome problems like having no deposit or previous references.

To find out more about any BHT services:
Visit BHT Eastbourne Advice, Highlight House, 8 St Leonard’s Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3UH. BHT share a reception with Eastbourne CAB which is open at the following times: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am – 4pm, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 1pm.
You can also phone BHT tel. 01323 642615 on Monday to Thursday from 9am – 5pm or Friday from 9am – 4.30pm.

Education and Employment

Youth Employability Service (YES) – advice and guidance for 16-18 year olds in East Sussex. Support with finding college courses, apprenticeships, training or employment. Help with CVs, applying for jobs and apprenticeships, interview skills and looking at education and training opportunities. Their Skills and Employability advisors also support young people to address any barriers they may be facing to progression such as housing, benefits, relationship issues, being a young carer or parent, substance use, offending etc. YES can meet young people at their offices or in the community and deliver 1:1 support over a prolonged period of time. Referrals are accepted from external services or young people and parents/carers. YES East Sussex have a Youth Forum and actively encourage young people to become a part of the Service.
YES also have a dedicated Adviser supporting eligible young people with Special Education Needs. This Adviser encourages schools and colleges to support the transition of students in Year 11-14 with SEN Additional Support Plans.
YES offer a drop in at the Eastbourne Branch:
Wednesday 9.30am-4.30pm and Friday 9.30-16.00
Youth Employability Service, Upperton House, The Avenue, Eastbourne, BN21 3YB t: 01323 410803. Email

Virtual School for Children in Care – aim to ensure that children and young people in care will make good educational progress and that no young person will leave care without employment, education or training. They work with children from early years up to 25 (if progressing in education). Contact Virtual School East Sussex: Telephone: 01323 464630, Email:

Sussex Downs College – the college offers many courses including skills to enter the workplace or further education. More details can be found on their website or by calling 030 300 39300

Re:Enterprise – based at Sussex Downs College in Lewes Re:Enterprise allows young people aged between 16 – 24 in East Sussex to learn practical skills and improve employability skills. The course runs from 10 weeks in their workshop and out in the local community. It includes using woodworking tools, learning about recycling, health and safety, life skills, confidence building and understanding how to undertake an enterprise project. Students will learn how to make a range of wooden products either from new or recycled materials which will then be sold to the local public. Contact them via their website

Young Parents – designed for mums and dads aged 16 to 24, this programme is designed to engage and support young parents and parents to be. It is based in a nurturing environment within the college and provides young parents a supportive network along with an opportunity to explore your future progression into mainstream college courses, volunteering and employment with training. The course will enable you to complete a Level 1 Qualification and have the opportunity to develop Maths and English Skills. The day-to-day course will work with you on a range of activities to improve your confidence and knowledge on how to progress into employment or your chosen path. Courses start in September, November and February. Contact them via their website

Alternative Training Providers – if you are looking for an alternative to college there are many other training providers located across the County, offering a wide variety of exciting courses.
You can find out information about various opportunities courses ranging from the arts, music, fashion and sports to child care, personal development and work skills at the website Many of these training providers also offer work based learning including apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and the chance to volunteer.
For volunteering opportunities please contact Eastbourne Volunteers (contact details at the top of this document). We have opportunities from beekeeping to bookkeeping that will look great on your CV!

Heathercroft Training Academy – traineeships and a range of free courses available. They offer progression opportunities in business administration, customer service, health and social care, ICT, childcare, support teaching and environmental and cleaning support services. 71% of their traineeship learners have progressed onto either apprenticeship, further education or employment. T: 01323 411517, w: e:

Crossland & Dudson Training Ltd – offering a range of courses including IT, Employability and Functional Skills English and Maths. Their in house courses are free of charge. Courses for Learners aged 16+ can lead to nationally recognised qualifications delivering family learning courses on behalf of East Sussex County Council. They are happy to consider any learning or training needs and are offering new courses all the time. They are also known as The Apprenticeship People. They pride themselves on helping people start their careers with Apprenticeships in IT, Child Care, Business Admin, Customer Service and Health and Social Care.
t: 01323 720072 e: w:

HOME (Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises) – provides work experience and training in a working environment for people who are struggling to find work.
m: 07720 854185, e: , w:

The Learning Centre in Eastbourne Library – provides English, Maths and IT qualifications. You can start as soon as you want with a plan of learning tailored to your needs. t: 0345 6080196 w:

Street Learning – free courses for all Wealden and Eastbourne residents aged 19 and over. Various locations across the two districts.

Training Now! – offers a range of free training courses to those over 19 and claiming Employment Support Allowance.
t: 01323 887199 e: ,

Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards – learn new skills, improve your fitness and take part in expeditions and adventure activities. A DofE Award also looks good on your CV and can be useful when applying for educational courses and jobs. The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award is about having a go. You take part in a variety of activities, but they are not exams and you can’t fail. Taking part is a great way of making friends and experiencing exciting and challenging things and gaining a great sense of achievement. It’s open to 14-25yr olds.
You complete a choice of activities under four headings, on average for about an hour a week:
volunteering – helping individuals or the community
skills – hobbies and interests
physical – sport, dance and fitness
expeditions – planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
There are three levels:
bronze – 14 years old and over
silver – 15 years old and over
gold – 16 years old and over.
At gold level you also choose a residential activity. It’s up to you what you do. It could be something entirely new or you could continue with an activity you already enjoy, you decide.
It takes at least six months to do a Bronze or Silver Award and at least 12 months for a Gold Award.
Contact them through their website

Princes Trust – help with employment training and starting a business. For more information about Princes Trust initiatives locally visit

Team (Princes Trust) – Are you aged 16-25 and wanting to boost your confidence and employability? This 12-week personal development programme, delivered in partnership with Sussex Downs College, will help you to meet new people, gain practical skills and experience and secure qualifications. Working with up to 14 other young people over 12 weeks, you’ll kick start with a residential trip to get to know everyone a bit better.
Later down the line, you’ll also make a difference in your community by taking on your own project. From regenerating a garden to creating a short film to inspire people to make a change, you’ll do everything from planning, fundraising and rolling up your sleeves to get the job done.
In addition to this, they’ll help you with your CV and interview skills to help you get ahead. Gaining a nationally-recognised qualification along the way, you can put your new talents to the test in a two-week work experience placement.
It sounds like a long time, but it flies by. You won’t believe it’s you sharing your journey at the final presentation. Everything is geared towards giving you the best chance to move into work, education or training. The course runs from 25th September to 15th December 2017. Call 0800 842842 or text 07983 385418 for more information

Eastbourne Jobs Hub – for people living in Eastbourne, Lewes and up to and including Heathfield and looking for work or careers advice. Based at Eastbourne Library, it is accessible to all. The Jobs Hub can help you search and apply for local jobs vacancies, access careers advice, apprenticeships or volunteering and works in partnership with
They are available face-to-face, on the phone and on the web and are available for all ages to guide you and give you information including, help with your CV and application forms, where to look for work, details about how to start a business, how to volunteer, training or education advice. Eastbourne Library, Grove Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4TL
The opening times are:
Monday to Wednesday 10am – 4.30pm
Thursday 10am – 6.30pm
Friday 10.30am – 4.30pm
Direct line: 01323 464548 Twitter@EBJobsHub

Project SEARCH – is a supported employment initiative for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Project SEARCH is a joint project between a local authority, a local college or school and a host employer. One of Project SEARCH’s most unique attributes is its emphasis on collaboration. Project SEARCH is driven by partnerships and a network of tutors, job coaches and job developers and business leaders that play an integral role in executing our goal of obtaining paid employment for individual with disabilities.
For further information contact: Stacey Beard, Project SEARCH Programme Co-ordinator Tel: 01323 43 56 02 or Email:

ChoicES – help finding a job for over 18’s with a learning disability who have had an Adult Social Care assessment and been told that they can use Adult Social Care services. Phone 01424 724970 or email

Propel – a comprehensive online resource for care leavers with information about the support available to them from universities and colleges in the UK.

Substance Misuse

Under 19s Substance Misuse Service (U19s SMS) – help if you, a friend or family member has a problem with drugs or alcohol. They can give you information, advice and support about drugs and alcohol. They will arrange to meet you, work out how alcohol or drugs are affecting your life and draw up a plan with you on how to support you. You might need help with more than just your drug or alcohol use – they can also support you with things like school or college, your job, home life or relationships.
Phone: 01323 464404, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.
Email: Under19’
You can always get someone else to contact us for you, like a parent or youth worker.

Sexual Health

Free Condoms C Card Scheme – get hold of free condoms and lube from lots of different places across East Sussex through the C card scheme. You will be given a credit card sized C card with your own personal registration number on it and you can go to any pick-up point displaying the C Card logo. These include youth centres, doctors, some chemists and various colleges across the county.
A member of staff will take down your C card registration number and give you your free condoms and lube. Don’t worry, it’s all confidential. To find where you can register and use your C card, go to

Free Chlamydia Testing – you can get tested at a sexual health clinic or you can order your own free kit to test yourself at home via or Chlamydia Free Phone: 08000 612 668 – 24 hour answerphone.Text PACK along with your name, age, address and sex to 80010.

School Health Service – if you’re attending a secondary school in East Sussex, the school health service and nurses can provide you with confidential information and support about sexual health and contraception. Your school nurse can provide registration for C Cards, condoms and chlamydia tests. They can also discuss other forms of contraception and a wide range of health issues.The School Health Service has introduced a new way young people can contact the team.
ChatHealth is a secure texting service, monitored by trained nurses. Young people, aged 11 to 19, can text the ChatHealth service on 07507 332473.Some secondary schools have a weekly drop in whilst others have a drop-in every other week. Find out when your school nurse drop in session is This is a confidential service and can provide referrals to specialist sexual health service if needed.

Sexual Health Clinic – Specialist sexual health services offer the complete range of contraceptive, sexual health and HIV services and will see anyone. It is confidential and your details are not included in main GP or hospital records without your permission. These services are open Monday to Saturday. Phone lines are available from 8.20am for same day appointments, tel. Free Phone 0808 1681282 or 01323 416100 (option 1)Drop In: Avenue House, The Avenue, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3XY

LGBT Support

I Am Who I Am – an LGBT youth group, where everyone else is welcome too. Every Friday, 6-8pm at Seaside Community Hub, 125 Seaside, Eastbourne.

Allsorts (Brighton) – offer activities and support for LGBTU people under the age of 26:
Weekly drop-in on Tuesdays, 5.30-8.30pm
Male Matters monthly young men’s group
No Dress Code monthly women’s group
Bi Brighton monthly bi/pan/omni/poly/queer group
Transformers monthly trans group
They also run a group for under 16s called TAG, plus offer telephone, email and one-to-one support with LGBT youth support workers.
Phone 01273 721211, Email:,

MindOut (Brighton) – if you’re LGBTU and concerned about your mental health, MindOut support group for under 30s may be for you. The group is free, confidential and non-judgemental, and runs every Tuesday in Hove from 4.30 to 6 pm. For more information email, phone 01273 234 839,

Some People – if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning your sexuality and/or gender and aged 14 to 19, join Some People, where you can make new friends, get online, find out more about your LGBTQ community, get support for bullying, health, coming out, relationships and more. They meet every week in Hastings. To find out more, and for venue details, contact Nicola Marshall on 07974579865 or

Sexual Exploitation

The Wise Project – is a service for 13-25 year olds who are experiencing sexual exploitation or are at risk of experiencing it. Call Clara on 01273 222583 or email if you or someone you know is at risk. You can also visit the facebook page.

General Health

NHS Choices – a wide range of information to help you improve your health. Visit the website’s Live Well pages to find support, tips and further information on everything from dental health and stopping smoking to sleeping better and achieving a healthier weight.

East Sussex Healthcare’s School Nursing teams – provide a range of information on health issues and services for young people and their families across the county.
Their ChatHealth service is a confidential, anonymous texting service for pupils aged 11-19 to contact a team of trained nurses, offering advice on issues such as sexual health, healthy eating, emotional health, drug and alcohol misuse and stopping smoking. Text 07507 332473

Mental Health Support

How can I get help?
When you’re feeling really bad you can be desperate to reach out and tell someone. But it’s not always easy. You might be afraid of being judged, being laughed at or made to feel weird. Help is out there, in lots of different forms. Talk to someone, it can really help to talk about it. Confide in someone you trust. Try to explain clearly what you’re feeling and be as honest as you can.

If there is no one you feel you can trust you can contact:
Childline – 0800 1111

Samaritans – 0845 790 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.or

E-motion – a new free online counselling service for young people aged 12-18 in East Sussex. They can be contacted at any time at or 01273 711633

Eastbourne / Hailsham CAMHS – if you’re 17 or under, and have complex mental health problems, you can get help from CAMHS. They can help work out what your problems are and how best to treat them. They can help the whole family (family therapy), just you on your own, your parents or carers on their own. They can also offer different kinds of therapy like art or play, or help you get support for problems with drink or drugs. Everything you say to them is confidential. This means they won’t share it with anyone else – even your parents – without your permission, unless they are very concerned for your safety.
Address: Highmore, Western Road, Hailsham, BN27 3DY, Tel: 01323 446241

Young Carers

East Sussex Young Carers (ESYCS) – support the most vulnerable Young Carers aged 5-18 who are responsible for caring for a family member with a long term illness or disability, prioritising Young Carers caring for a parent with a mental health or drug and alcohol issue. Also, as a young carer you may be eligible for a Young Carer’s Personal Budget. They provide information, advice, guidance, signposting and advocacy through a single point of contact called the Young Carers Hub. This is available to Young Carers, Families and Professionals.
Chill Clubs are dedicated groups in East Sussex for Young Carers to meet each other, talk about their caring role and of course have fun! Chill Clubs are tailored to the nature of the caring role with a focus on hidden Young Carers.
East Sussex Young Carers support team provides face to face support to Young Carers individually and to the whole family. The team will be guided by other professionals or keyworkers with the family and will seek out relevant expertise from other professionals for the benefit of the family.
Education is essential to a Young Carers development. East Sussex Young Carers offers tailored training and information to schools which will enable them to identify and support Young Carers in house. Tel 0300 777 2011

Youth Justice

East Sussex Youth Offending Team – if you are convicted of a crime, the courts will put you under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team (YOT). You will need to comply with the conditions of your order, which will be designed to help steer you away from crime and anti-social behavior, offer support in education, training or employment, find ways to repay the community and offer support for resolving drug and alcohol problems.
Youth Offending Team, St Mark’s House, 14 Upperton Road, Eastbourne, BN21 1EP
Phone: 01323 466633

Youth Cabinet – campaigns for things that you think are important by going to the people who make the decisions and telling them what young people want. They talk to lots of different people, from the police to bus companies and everyone in between. For example, between 2011 and 2013 they campaigned to improve local public transport options for young people. The result was the launch of the 3-iD Card, which offers travel on a number of bus services and discounts for young people in many high street stores.
Tell them what’s important to you and what you want changed! You can also find out more about the Youth Cabinet and how to stand for election.
East Sussex Youth Cabinet, Children’s Services, Participation Team, County Hall, St, Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1UE, Phone: 01273 335250

East Sussex Young Inspectors – trained young people who carry out inspections of services providing a report of their findings along with recommendations on how the service is being delivered. Young Inspectors allows young people to get their views heard, to improve the services they use and support agencies, organisations and businesses in meeting the needs of young people.
Initially facilitated by ESCC, The Young Inspectors programme is now being delivered by East Sussex Community Voice following consultation with young people. The Young Inspectors have completed a commission to inspect leisure activities for children and young people with disabilities or special needs in East Sussex as part of the i-go scheme. If you are between 13 and 25 and would like to get involved in this programme, please contact Helen Connor at or call 07909 253671. To find out more, visit

3i-D Card – proves national form of proof of age ID, offers reduced fares in East Sussex bus travel discounts. Apply at – Information portal for young people in East Sussex

Published and edited by Eastbourne Volunteers
1 The Labyrinth, 7 Mark Lane, Eastbourne, BN21 4RJ
Tel. 01323 381811


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