If you are a young person living in Kent or Medway, find out more about what we can do to support you at YLF
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.
Call us: 01622 693459
Facebook Messenger: @ylf.org.uk
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill out an online contact form
Services For You
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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
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?
- 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
- 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!
- 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 YLF Help
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!
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
Other Places To Get Help
We have a list of our favourite online support sites for young people that you might find useful: