Our dedicated, hard working team of over 50 volunteers are integral to Youth Genesis Trust and our approach as they provide value, local knowledge, specialist skills and sustainability. We at Youth Genesis have worked hard to build a large team of  volunteers who offer an abundance of experience and are passionate about supporting young people. 

We love celebrating our volunteers and sharing their achievements with you all. Here’s some of our recent stars……

Annabelle Gillard

Annabelle Gillard (R), Youth Genesis volunteer and leader of Project DAVE, pictured with Michelle Taylor, Operations Lead who had oversight of the project.

Young Person of the Year Award (The Breeze) 2018/19

Annabelle led a group of 10 young people on a journey to raise awareness of domestic violence. In less than 12 months, through their work on Project DAVE, the hardworking team created and put together 7 posters aimed at young people to raise awareness. These posters were launched and were used widely in the public domain.

Project D.A.V.E. (DAVE: Domestic Abuse Victim Equality) 

Project D.A.V.E. addresses domestic abuse and its effects on young people and their families and tackles the stereotype of males being seen as the main perpetrators of domestic abuse. Project D.A.V.E. also works with young people to identify the facts and key indicators of the power dynamics within unhealthy relationships.

D.A.V.E. offers workshops to youth groups, clubs and drop-ins to raise awareness about the effects of domestic abuse and show young people how they can get help and support. Workshops include: healthy relationships, family life, identity, bullying, and the dangers of substance misuse, staying safe and online safety to other young people.

Charlie Aston

Charlie Aston, with Michelle Taylor, Operations Lead, and James Cross of Kitsons LLP

Children & Young People Award (Devon Community Foundation)

The Devon Community Foundation award their Children & Young People Award each year, honouring the hard work and achievements of the many volunteers making a real difference in our Devon communities. Charlotte (Charlie) Aston from Youth Genesis Trust was awarded the Children and Young People Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Kitsons LLP.

Charlie said: “I am truly honoured to have been chosen for the Children & Young People Award. I absolutely love my work with young people and I hope it continues for a very long time. The awards ceremony was a beautiful evening with such inspirational people, a really amazing experience. A massive thank you to my wonderful boss Michelle for nominating me for this award, and to everyone who voted for me. And well done and thank you to my fabulous teenagers, without you guys none of this would have happened.”

23 year old Charlie has a heart condition due to drinking too many energy drinks in her teenage years. Three years ago, she underwent major surgery and nearly lost her life. Since then, she has made it her mission to tell share her story with the young people she works with to prevent them from facing the same dangers.

The Youth Genesis Trust works with young people in Torbay, and across Devon, who lack opportunities to engage in employment, training and education, or are involved in risk taking behaviour such as offending and substance misuse. Volunteers work with the young people encouraging them to make a positive transition into adulthood.

James Cross, of Kitsons LLP, sponsors of the award said: “As a local legal firm we are deeply embedded in our local communities and it is important to us that we do what we can to make a difference, which is why we created a Fund with the Foundation over four years ago and why we continue to support this award. We felt that Charlie demonstrated excellent commitment and leadership skills as well as being an outstanding role model.”

Martha Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Devon Community Foundation said: “Charlie deserves to be recognised for all the hours she gives to charity and the many young people she has helped. Her passion is infectious!”

Stephen Fascione

Outstanding Contribution Award (Devon and Cornwall Police)

Stephen Fascione, (known as Bost) from Malborough who works for Youth Genesis Trust recently won an award for his work in Foxhole, Paignton. Stephen is a detached Streetbase youth worker, providing informal learning and support on the streets of Foxhole. He has been recognised for the social impact he and his team have made in the 20 months they have had presence there. The award was presented at the Citizens in Policing Volunteer Awards 2019, by PCC Alison Hernandez at the St Mellion International Resort in Liskeard.

Our detached workers, led by Steve have been making contact and building trusting relationships with young people on the streets of Torbay and Devon, working in close partnership with the police, children’s services and local community and voluntary sector groups.

Foxhole is an area of high deprivation, the area can look very run down and messy, with large amounts of litter especially around the main area. Since last Spring, Steve and his team have engaged the young people in a positive way to take care of their community. Regular litter picks happen around the main area, to keep the place looking more presentable and giving ownership to young people. The business owners have also engaged with this and started sweeping the pavements down every day. The young people now ask if they can do a litter pick. Through this meaningful conversations are started, and the work can continue.

A youth forum was also set up once a month, where young people can voice their opinions, say what they want in their area and identify need. CV writing has also been a theme and has seen one 17 year old get into employment. Youth Genesis Trust and especially the lead worker Steve in Foxhole has made a sustainable difference to the area. The charity’s CEO, Jonathan Oliverio has applauded Steve’s work, saying “Steve has shown exemplary commitment in his work, being a positive role model and inspiration to young people facing some of the most difficult challenges in life.”

Detached Youth Work

Detached youth work is a distinct form of work with young people. As with all youth work, it uses the principles and practices of informal education to engage young people in constructive dialogue, within a broad agenda of personal and social development. The work is underpinned by mutual trust and respect, and responds to the needs of young people. The basis of the relationship between the worker and the young person is mutual acceptance and parity. Traditional notions of adult power and authority are brought into sharp focus.

All youth work seeks to work on and from young people’s ‘territory’ (as determined by their definitions of space, needs, interests, concerns and lifestyles). Detached youth work, however, is distinct from all other forms of youth work as this concept of territory focuses primarily on the geographical: detached youth workers work where young people have chosen to be, whether this be streets, cafes, shopping centres etc. Our workers make contact with young people wherever they are.

So detached youth work is often free from the constraints of centre based youth work – where buildings are specifically set up for the purpose of youth work. Detached youth workers don’t have to manage a building or property. This is not to say buildings won’t be used; indeed they sometimes become a feature of more developed practice. But in detached youth work, contact happens on the street, and relationships are developed there too.

Detached youth work is, above all, about working flexibly. As they don’t have to look after buildings, they can use their geographical flexibility to best meet the needs of young people. They celebrate the uncertainty implied by an open ended way of working and value this for its democratic credentials. They recognise its effectiveness in engaging, in particular, with those young people whose lifestyles are sometimes chaotic and sit uncomfortably with order and prescription.

The experience of many detached youth workers is that imposing an agenda acts as a barrier to working with young people, many of whom are already disengaged from formal learning. The success of youth work comes from making good judgments in relation to these risks. Pushing too hard can distance young people. Not pushing enough can fail to challenge and inspire them.

Our targets for the Streetbase project is to work with young people to:
• Reduce anti-social behaviour
• Reduce the number of teenage conceptions
• Reduce Child Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation
• Reduce the number of young people engaged in drugs, alcohol and substance misuse
• Reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training
• Increase participation in positive activities
• Raise awareness of and promote other services, projects and activities for young people
• Signposting where needed

This work comes naturally to Steve and he has gained the skills and knowledge to engage with young people and make a positive difference in their lives. Steve has also engaged the community, and working alongside the Crafty Fox Cafe and Hub, he has made a significant impact on young people and also adults in the area. Local businesses and residents have also commented on what a difference it has made when they are present. Through a program of work around sexual health, CSE, drugs and alcohol and ASB, we have helped a number of young people to recognise risk and stay safe.

There have been a number of occasions where safeguarding issues where raised and Steve has dealt with them well, giving the individual time to speak about what’s happening for them and referring through the appropriate channels. Without Steve and the team, these concerns may have gone undetected.