The need for a charity for young people in Winchester emerged from the local homeless and night shelter projects. Many of the adults using these services had experienced difficulties in childhood and were at risk of unemployment and homelessness before they had reached 16, and so, in 1983 the charity was formed.
The charity was called ‘Winchester Detached Youth Work Project’ whose core work was to reach out into the community to get to know and understand young people and their needs in order that support could be offered. This ‘detached’ (non-centre based) approach to working with young people was not commonplace at the time, but is now widely regarded as an effective way to reach out to young people with unmet needs that are not engaging with other services. We have been well-placed to identify and respond to the changing needs of individuals and the wider community ever since.
In 2004, the young people using the service at the time felt that the charity name was outdated and so they chose ‘Street Reach’ as the re-branded name of the charity.
In recent years, we have achieved steady and sustained growth and our outreach work now takes place in four communities in Winchester every week. We have expanded the scope of our work by taking on the delivery of youth provision at Micheldever Youth Club, a club providing vital support and opportunities to young people in this rural area of Winchester. Alongside our core work, Street Reach are committed to offering targeted projects and experiences that engage, inform and challenge the young people we work with.
Our work with young people is always on a voluntary basis and our approach is founded upon building relationships over time. Through listening to the young people we work with, we are able to adapt and respond to their needs in order to provide effective support. We work in partnership with the young people to design creative and engaging projects.
The staff and trustees at Street Reach have a variety of backgrounds and skills. Our team are trained, experienced and passionate about working with young people.