What’s the demographic of the young people you work with?
We provide support to those who live, work and study in Newcastle primarily, although we would never turn a young person away. There can be an assumption that we just help those who are disadvantaged by poverty or background but we have a wide range of young people who access our services. All young people can have emotional health and wellbeing challenges, anxiety, depression or suffer from peer pressure.
Everyone who accesses our services do so voluntarily. We work with anyone aged 11 – 25 and we do a lot of work with young people between the ages of 11-14 to give them the support and tools to help prevent issues from escalating in the future.
The charity was founded 28 years ago and over that time we’ve helped tens of thousands of young people in our region. Lots of them come back to see us, Streetwise alumni include musicians, performing artists, designers and actors. We have supported many young women who were told, like me, that they would never amount to anything who are now psychologists, engineers, health workers and teachers.
I can be filling the car up somewhere and get a tap on the shoulder – when I turn around I’m greeted by one of the young people we’ve helped who go on to tell me about their own business or their own families and how well they are doing. It’s heartwarming and so rewarding.