A NEW guidance and information service for young people was officially opened on Friday.
The FindItOut Service, in Marine Place, Worthing, aims to provide 13 to 25-year-olds with information and guidance on a wide range of topics, from sexual health, employment and family issues to substance abuse, homelessness and education.
Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children – start of life, declared the centre open and was keen to highlight the important role it played for young people in Worthing.
“It’s a multi-agency hub. There are not many places where all the agencies can connect with young people. It’s also a safe haven, because it can be a tough world out there for youngsters.
“Not all young people have parents and grandparents to give them advice but they can come here and receive forms of guidance.”
The service – which used to be known as The Information Shop, in Warwick Street, Worthing – cost £50,000 to relaunch.
The building will also double as a staff hub for Worthing Borough Councillors and West Sussex County Councillors.
Adam Hayes, 23, Farncombe Road, has been using the support service on and off for the last three years.
He said: “I have a disability and there are not a lot of places out there for me. It’s a good service because you get one on one support.”
Adam is preparing to move into his own flat where he will live independently. The service has helped him to find furniture, work on his CV and fill in benefit forms.
Azaria Messingham,19, is the chairman of West Sussex County Council’s youth cabinet and used the service when it was The Information Shop, following a bout of depression.
She said: “It gave me something to do and a reason to leave the house.
“The Information Shop was in a small run-down building. Coming in here, and seeing all the colours and the inviting environment, it makes you want to walk in, which The Information Shop didn’t.
“There are such a wide range of things it helps with, there’s nothing else out there like it.”
Graham Vagg, service manager, said Worthing had the second highest youth unemployment rate in the county and there was a ‘real need’ for the service.