Delegates from countries across Europe paid a visit to Hastings recently.
he delegates, from Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain made the journey as part of the Eurotowns initiative.#
It was the first meeting of this year for the Eurotowns Social Inclusion Task Team The topic of the discussion was Child and Youth Poverty.
The purpose of the visit was to focus on social inclusion; specifically projects being delivered to tackle young people not in employment, education or training (NEET’s) and family intervention projects where a young person has the responsibility of supporting the rest of the family.
Hastings is a member of the Eurotowns initiative; a partnership of towns and cities of similar size who are working together to develop shared learning and funding opportunities around thematic areas.
Cllr Dawn Poole Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration said:
“We were delighted that the 18 Eurotown delegates came to Hastings and visited some of our key partners who were able to show some of the great work that is going on in the town to support vulnerable and NEET young people.
“Their tour included visits to South Coast College Hastings, Hollington Primary Academy, the Education Futures Trust and a presentation from Medway Youth Trust, who provide Youth Employability Service in East Sussex on behalf of East Sussex County Council.
“The delegates were very impressed with the levels of partnership working and the approach we have in ensuring that the young person is central to provision and the variety of complementary projects and initiatives currently being delivered.
“They are now keen to take some of these ideas back with them to see if they can convert some of what they learnt in to their systems.”
Hastings takes a multi-agency approach to child protection, family issues and NEETs.
Issues with families and children are often picked up by the school, as these issues tend to manifest themselves in things like poor behaviour and attendance, concerns over diet or cleanliness of pupils or their emotional well-being.
Schools are increasingly being seen as a central point for tackling these issues, as often the school is the only constant in their lives. The support focuses on individual pupils as well as for the wider family.
To find out more about the Eurotowns project and its ongoing work visit www.eurotowns.org.
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