New youth support project is transforming lives of young patients

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with the CYPF Consortium and Rotherham United Community Trust, has launched a new Youth Work Support project aimed at helping young people aged 11-19 with asthma, epilepsy, diabetes and other long-term conditions. 

The image shows members of the Youth Work Support project team.

This initiative also extends support to those up to 25 years old with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), following a referral from their healthcare professional.

Based on the Children’s Ward in Rotherham Hospital, the project is supported through a pilot bid through the Children’s and Young People’s (CYP) transformation programme. It is designed to provide individualised support to young people with long-term health conditions.

Once a referral is made to the service, the project’s Youth Workers arrange an initial meeting to begin the support process. The primary goal of the youth workers involved in the project is to understand each young person as an individual.

By doing so, they can offer tailored guidance and support, and connect them to relevant community clubs or services.  

Youth Workers provide:

  • A safe and inclusive environment for personal growth 
  • Wellbeing support, with a focus on mental health and relevant resources
  •  Opportunities to develop positive relationships 
  • Access to various services and clubs through the CYPF Consortium and Rotherham United Community Trust

“The project aims to improve the quality of life and mental wellbeing of young patients with long-term conditions,” said Joshua Hebenstreit, a Youth Worker from the CYPF Consortium working on the project. “By getting to know each young person, we can help them manage their condition better, leading to an overall improvement in their quality of life.”

Although the project has only recently launched, it has already received positive feedback from patients and their families.  

A parent expressed their gratitude for the project, stating: “Josh’s support significantly impacted my child’s hospital stay and recovery. His dedication continued even after discharge, ensuring we received the necessary support. This thorough and compassionate approach is truly commendable.”

Helen Dobson, Chief Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The youth worker project is a vital initiative that bridges the gap between medical care and emotional support for young patients with long-term health conditions. By offering empathy and guidance, we can actively improve health outcomes for our patients.”

The service operates on a referral basis so if you know of anyone who would benefit from the project, please speak to your healthcare professional at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.