A safe place to talk

FHS youth bus

THE council is giving young students the opportunity to talk about their problems in a safe and fun environment.

Essex Youth Services provide buses that park up just outside Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow, and Forest Hall School, in Stansted, and welcome students to visit them once a week during lunchtimes.

The students can spend time on the bus with their friends, play games, and complete fun activities or just chat to each other or the youth workers who will then report any concerns back to the school.

‘The idea of the youth bus is to get students talking and communicating. It is manned by youth workers who can speak with children and if they have issues or concerns they have a safe place to discuss them. It’s about offering different ways to get those messages across’ said Tracy Taylor, director of safeguarding who looks after both schools.

The scheme began on November 2008 and it will be continued with no current end date.

Nurses and health professionals are also hosted on the buses and can answer any questions and give advice to students about anything they’re concerned about.

Mrs Taylor said: ‘We have made lots of links with outside agencies, one of them being the Youth Service, to see what is out there for our students. With budgets not being there for services, it is important we find out what we can take advantage of so we can give our students all the advice and support that’s available.’

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Marina Gaiti

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