The Swan Youth Project

The Swan Youth Project

At a glance


  • Counselling / advice
  • Local / community
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 


The SYP provides all of the young people of Berkhamsted and the surrounding area, with a safe, drug free and secure recreational facility supported by a programme of events and activities. This contributes to the public and young people’s benefit by promoting the social and educational development of those young people who make use of these facilities. By providing a safe, drug and alcohol free recreational environment, we allow young people to successfully engage in informal education while being supported, heard, valued and respected. This reduces the risks of them becoming involved in public misconduct and enables them to contribute to the public benefit, becoming valued members of the community, thus adding to their self-worth and self-esteem. The Trustees seek to ensure that all funds raised by the project are used to secure these benefits.


The team of part-time senior youth workers and youth support workers has responsibility for managing the day-to-day running of its centre which delivers to 11-18 year olds from Berkhamsted and the surrounding villages a safe, alcohol and drug free environment in which to meet with friends, discuss issues that affect them, and participate in a range of diverse and rewarding activities. In addition to running the SYP, one of the team also serves as clerk to Berkhamsted Youth Town Council.

The SYP centre is well equipped with a DJ booth, pool table, table football, computer and internet room, chill-out room, a fully equipped music and band practice room, air hockey, Wii & Xbox and a coffee bar.

Our regular activities during term time include:

After School Drop-in 3 - 6pm Monday to Friday

Years 7 and 8 Drop-in Tuesdays 6 - 8pm

Youth Council meetings 4.30-6pm Wednesdays once per month

Gig Nights or Disco Fridays once per month

Outreach staffed sessions at the skate park

Apart from these regular activities, the SYP offers at various times:

Involving Young People: It engages young people in positive activities by giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility by including them in decision-making and project delivery. We have a Formal Member Volunteer Programme where they receive support and encouragement in their volunteering. Their hours are monitored and they receive certificates in recognition of their valued contribution. These hours can also count towards DofE’s volunteering hours. The ongoing engagement of member volunteers provides opportunities for young people to understand the wider role of youth work within the community and as a possible career.

Informed Choices: Members can receive support and information to enable them to make informed choices about issues that concern them regarding drugs, alcohol, safety, health both physical and mental and relationships

Creative Learning: Young people are offered creative learning through arts, music and citizenship and encouraged to enjoy new experiences by participating in activities such as drama, skate boarding and video making. They have the opportunity to gain a sense of achievement when completing something they would not otherwise normally experience, e.g. performing in a band to an audience for the first time, participating in a radio programme, etc.

Outreach Work: Outreach work is delivered in the local schools and community groups, and at the local skate park and football pitch to engage with the harder to reach members of the community. We also have good links with the local Housing Foyer for homeless young people and encourage them to use our centre and all the services we offer.

Training Opportunities: Members also have the opportunity to attend many different training workshops such as Drugs Awareness, Careers, First Aid and Young Youth Worker courses, and develop organisational skills, budgeting skills and experience of working as a team when helping to plan the different activities. We also offer specialised nights, trips out and a yearly Swan Summer Getaway, all at affordable costs so that young people from low income families are included. Members are offered opportunities to participate in sporting events such as five-a-side football, yoga, dance, and trips to skate parks. Our skate members deliver skate coaching sessions to younger members of the community during holiday times at the local skate park.

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