The Bank Youth Project

The Bank Youth Project

At a glance


  • Young people

Other details

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The Bank Youth Project (BYP) is a youth centre for all young people aged 9 – 19 who live in and around Ashburton. Its objective is to engage young people in purposeful activity in a space they can call their own, where they can relax, be creative, have fun, make friends, develop their interests and skills, talk and discuss, increase self-awareness, take on responsibility, seek advice and support, increase their understanding of the community around them and their involvement in it.


BYP provides youth activities for the young people of Ashburton and the surrounding area. Based in its own building in the centre of Ashburton, BYP is open for four nights per week, 45 weeks a year, and is fully inclusive for all-comers. 

The Youth Work Team, supported by volunteers and senior helpers, selected for their skills (both hard and soft) and offered a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) where appropriate.  

BYP's continuing activities include sports, games, cooking, music and arts-based projects. Some activities (e.g. cookery) have a direct educational content but this is not forced, assessed or imposed. Activities are driven by the young people themselves with support from the youth work staff, volunteers and senior helpers. This helps the young people to develop social and emotional skills in a non-judgmental yet safe environment and, for many, this is the only worthwhile semi-structured interaction in their lives. Peer support and gentle mentoring by the senior helpers is an integral part of this process, as is continuing consultation with the young people themselves to determine the flow of activities and to encourage initiatives. This programme has clear benefits and is an important service in itself; however it also builds the trust of the young people to the point where they can be more actively helped as described below.

Beneath this "shop-front" is a programme of direct advice, information and feedback to improve the young people's life-chances. This is an important part of BYP’s programme, an ongoing support service that provides information, advice, and up- to- date guidance to young people from Ashburton and the surrounding area. Open access to these services is available during each session, and includes:

  • Group discussions and one-to-one sessions.
  • Working 1-2-1 to support young people with mental health issues.
  • Employment advice, referencing, and CV writing.
  • Advice and support on issues relating to, training, education, health, sexual health and contraception, drugs and alcohol, relationships and family matters, housing and benefits.
  • C-Card sexual health support service in partnership with the NHS. (BYP has been commended for maintaining very high standards in running this service.)
  • Leaflets and access to information via the Internet.
  • Signposting and referral to other specialist agencies.

Demand and need for personalised support appears to be increasing year on year. We do not have specific targets for numbers of beneficiaries: our aim is to be open and inclusive for all the young people of Ashburton and surrounding areas, turning nobody away and being both responsive to their needs and attempting to anticipate developments.


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