Young People

If you are a young person living in Kent or Medway, find out more about what we can do to support you at YLF

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Help For You

YLF delivers a number of specialist advice and support services for young people up to the age of 25. We also run activity groups for young people to attend.

Our specialist services are free and confidential. Staff and volunteers will always listen to you and they won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

Take a look at whats on offer below. If it looks like we don’t have a service in your area just contact us and we will do our best to still help.

Contact Us

Call

Call us: 01622 693459

Messenger

Facebook Messenger: @ylf.org.uk

Email

email us at: enquiries@ylf.org.uk

Online

Fill out an online contact form

Services For You

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Advocacy

We can support you if you are struggling to express how you feel or if you feel unhappy about decisions made by professionals or family that has an impact on your life. We can listen to your issues and help you to get your views across by giving you what’s called, an Advocate.

What's Advocacy?

What is an Advocate?

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Someone who can….

  • Help get your views across
  • Give you information about your rights and entitlements
  • Help you have a say in decisions made about your life

Advocacy is always…

  • Independent – This means we are separate from all other professionals and just work for you
  • Confidential – We don’t pass on any information unless you tell us it is ok (unless we are worried that you or someone else may not be safe)

An Advocate can…

  • Meet you face to face
  • Help over the phone
  • Text or Email you
  • Whichever you feel most comfortable with

Can I have an Advocate?

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You can have the support of an YLF Advocate if you are…

  • A Medway or Kent young person
  • In Care
  • A Care Leaver up to the age of 24
  • A Child in Need
  • If you have a child protection conference or Family Group Conference

Not from Kent or Medway?

Just give us a call on our Freephone number 0808  164 0096 or contact us online to find if we can help you, don’t worry if we can’t we will signpost you to someone who can.

How can an Advocate help me?

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An Advocate can be there to…

  • Support you at meetings
  • Help you write letters or email
  • Help you understand your rights and entitlements
  • Help you make a complaint if you’re unhappy about something
  • Try to help resolve your problems
  • If we can’t help we will refer you to a service that can
  • Help find you legal advice

What issues can an Advocate help with?

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Our Advocates have previously helped young people with the following issues…

  • Not wanting to move from residential placement to foster placement
  • Being moved against young person’s wishes
  • Being moved from placement but possessions were not sent to new placement
  • Young person not aware of their savings since being in care or where they were saved
  • Request life story work not actioned by Social Services
  • Support at Child Protection Conferences
  • Wanting to Stay Put but told that the only option is to bid for council house
  • Wanting help to find out will happen when young person turns 18
  • Wanting more contact with grandparents, siblings or parents
  • Not receiving support from PA – not informed PA was on long term sick leave
  • Complaint about the transition to move placements with no education in place
  • Wanting to know rights and entitlements around 18+ transition

How can I get an Advocate?

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You can contact us on our Young Person’s Freephone Number 0808  164 0096 and ask to speak to Kristy, Sarah or Lucy.

Or you can you can fill in an online form and we will get back to you.  You can also ask someone to contact us on your behalf, like a teacher, social worker, or carer.

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Mentoring

We can support you to achieve goals, support emotions and improve behaviours, school struggles and another personal achievements. We can do this by giving you a Mentor, someone who is independent and here to help.

What's Mentoring?

What is a Mentor?

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A Mentor is a volunteer who can support you for up to 6 months once a week, offering advice and guidance on things that you may be struggling with. They are someone independent who you can talk to and ask for help without worry or judgement.

 

How can a Mentor help me?

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A Mentor can help you by supporting you to achieve and help you to reach where you want to be. Whether its studying, improving grades, feeling better about yourself, joining a club or making new friends, a Mentor can help.

Can I have a Mentor?

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If you are aged 10-16 and living in Maidstone, Thanet, Gravesham or Swale, you are able to access a Mentor.

Not from the towns listed above?

Just give us a call on 01622 693459 or contact us online to find if we can help you, don’t worry, if we can’t we will signpost you to someone who can.

How do I get a Mentor?

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Send us a message and one of the team will be in touch. Or call us on: 01622 693459 and ask to speak to Neil or Amber

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Befriending

Befrienders are like long term friends who are there just for you, no matter how many social workers or carers you may have, this person will stick by you. Befrienders are volunteers and officially called Independent Visitors.

What's Befriending?

What is a Befriender?

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  • Also referred to as an Independent Visitor, a befriender is a volunteer who has chosen to help and support a young person in care
  • They are committed to a minimum of two years so that they can really get to know you and build a trusting and meaningful relationship
  • Someone independent, separate from social workers, teachers and foster carers, and their priority is you

What sort of things do you get up to with a Befriender?

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  • The activities that you do with your Independent Visitor are moulded to your interests
  • Your befriender will get to know you and the things that you like to do then on your once a month visit you can choose your activity
  • These can be anything that interests you, like trampolining, go-karting, football, arts and crafts, going out for dinner… the options are endless!

How will my Befriender help me?

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  • Your Befriender will provide support in your life, they will be someone to talk to and to listen to you
  • They will stick around and be there for you when you need them
  • If you want, they can come to your reviews with you as someone that you trust

How do I get a Befriender?

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  • To be able to have a befriender you must be looked after by either Kent or Medway Council
  • Be between the ages of 8 and 18
  • You can make a referral online here
  • If you are not with Kent or Medway you can still have an Independent Visitor. Just ask your social worker to send us a referral!
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Activities & Groups

Our Positive Activities Programme includes groups that take place all over Kent and you can join if you are aged 7-21. The programme includes regular groups or one off day trips to places like Chessington!

What's Positive Activities?

Who are the activities for?

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  • young people living in Kent or Medway
  • young people who are struggling at home, in foster care, or adopted
  • those between ages 7 and 21

What do you get up to?

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  • some groups meet regularly at one of our hubs in Sittingbourne, Margate, Medway or Tonbridge
  • we play sports, computer games, team games, pool, nerf wars or have movie nights at the hubs
  • we head out to venues in your area to do activities like ice skating, bowling, trampolining or golf
  • in half terms and school holidays we go to places like Chessington, the zoo and even weekend stays at camps!

How will these activities help me?

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  • you will gain confidence, self esteem and feel better about yourself
  • make new friends and meet new people
  • allows you to go and enjoy new and exciting activities either in your area or further away!
  • learn skills that could last a lifetime
  • earn awards and certificates

How do I join?

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You can contact us using our online referral form and we will get in touch about your closest group you can join.

Feel free to call us on 01622 693459 or email activities@ylf.org.uk

How YLF Help

Karleigh's Story

Watch Karleigh’s video about how YLF changed hers and her siblings lives!

Children in Care Council

Find out how you can help our young people develop and change the care system!

Fundraising

YLF fundraise to pay for the costs of their activities. You can join in too!

What People Say

“I’ve had the best time! There’s so many new things I’ve done and what’s nice is I’ve made new friends.” Josh, young person

“The best thing about having an IV is not only do we do things I like to do, but I’m learning new things that I hadn’t thought would be interesting – like photography.” Abbi, young person

“Thank you for being by my side. I have been let down so much by social workers, you made things easier, you helped me. My Mum is not here but it feels like you care. I was neglected by social services. I don’t remember how I got your number but I know when I met you things started to get better.” Izzy, young person

Find Out More

Head to our main pages for more info on...

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Other Places To Get Help

We have a list of our favourite online support sites for young people that you might find useful:

Kent Cares Town – Find out about what it means to be in the care of Kent County Council or a Care Leaver.

Help at Hand – If you’re in care, leaving care, living away from home or working with children’s services we can offer you free support, advice and information.

The Mix – Free information and support for under 25s in the UK. Get advice about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money and jobs.

Childline – Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.

Become – the charity for children in care and young care leavers. Get help and advice and find out how we are improving the care system

Young Minds – UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. 

CXK – a charity that delivers career guidance and training programmes to support individuals to build the skills and confidence they need to find a job

Kooth – an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop

IMO – IMO is a voice for teenagers in care and for care leavers. Somewhere you can share stories, experiences and achievements, get and give advice, and more

Carers Trust – a major charity for, with and about carers. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring

What Next?

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Contact the team

Call: 01622 693459
Email: enquiries@ylf.org.uk
FB Messenger: @ylf.org.uk

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Get involved

You can make a short online referral to receive our support or join our programmes

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More Info

Head to our How We Help pages to see more about the projects we do