Youth Central CIC is a non-profit making organisation that works with a specific but not exclusive focus on young women aged 11- 25 years old in Kent and Medway. Its purpose is to raise confidence and aspirations, informally educate young women about issues that affect them and develop their skills and potential. The charity offers youth work programmes and workshops in the community, often partnering with other agencies. Youth Central is a part of the Stronger Kent Communities consortium which is commissioned by Kent County Council to offer infrastructure support to the voluntary sector in Kent.
• To give the young women of Kent and Medway a voice
• To provide opportunities for young people to learn in an informal and fun way
• To empower, develop and equip young people for life
• To build confidence and transferable skills in young people and increase their employability
• To assist young people in making informed decisions about a range of issues that affect them
• To encourage young people to volunteer and serve their communities
We will achieve this by:-
• Delivering peer education, peer mentoring and youth programmes directly to young people
• Delivering a range of short courses and workshops to young people about issues that affect them to inform their choices
• Supporting, training and encouraging others working with young people
• we encourage young people to design, create and deliver programmes
• we believe young people can be the best people to inform other young people
• we believe that given the right encouragement, skills and opportunities young people can do great things
• We want to empower young people to attain further education, employment or training
• We constantly review our programmes with young people to see how we can improve
• We believe that learning is lifelong and everyone can learn from each other
• We believe that everyone should be respected and valued as individuals
• We attend to the individual needs of the young people we work with
• We believe that every young person has skills and potential that can be developed at a pace that suits them
Youth Central was founded to make a difference to young women by providing safe opportunities for them to build their confidence, explore issues that affect them, increase their aspirations and gain qualifications in informal settings.
Despite the equality act there are still real differences in the opportunities and wages that can be accessed by women. There are pressures on young women from all sides and they are often judged solely on appearances against perfect images that have been altered and air brushed. They are expected to be beautiful and sexy, smart and independent, career women and mothers.
Young women are exposed to all types of substances which can be abused and puberty is happening at an earlier age. The widespread accessibility of pornography can lead to young women being objectified and mistreated. There is also an increase in the exploitation of young women with the spread of gang cultures into the Kent area.
These pressures in turn can lead to low school performance, eating disorders, self-harm, low self-esteem and mental health problems. For teenage mothers especially there is a strong link with a lack of aspiration and they are less likely to gain educational qualifications. Many make poor relationship choices which can lead to abuse and violence.
Youth Central aims to empower young women to take steps to change their outlook and make more educated choices. By giving information on issues, allowing young women to recognise their talents and building resilience in them, the organisation hopes to improve their life prospects and prepare them for adulthood.