What is 24-7?
24-7 exists to see young people thrive in a world of challenges. Youth workers demonstrate a lifestyle of community leadership and are part of the village that supports our young people to grow into contributing adults.
Through a focus on building presence based relationships, trust with young people is established and 24-7 youth workers are there to lend non judgemental support. When a listening ear is needed, youth workers provide that sounding board. Our youth workers have a toolkit of resources that help them advocate for young people, connecting them to school and community professionals, such as health care and counselling. Additionally, 24-7 youth workers facilitate a wide range of activities including: mentoring, coaching sport, organising games and activities, and encouraging participation in community events. Youth workers are hand holders who coach youth to problem solve, find meaningful community connections and realise their worth.
24-7 YouthWork is best described as a ‘low intensity preventative and early intervention service’:
“24-7 YouthWork is for all young people within a school and is for any school. It is not just aimed at young people perceived as ‘at-risk’, or available only in low decile schools”
(YouthWork Annual Report 2022)
A wide range of students with diverse backgrounds benefit from 24-7, however, in line with findings of surveys (2014, 2017 and 2022), “non-European/Pakeha respondents report greater levels of impact. Socio-economic status, as measured by the Ministry of Education’s new Equity Index, showed a small, but significant effect, with slightly greater positive impact experienced by students from less equitable backgrounds”.
We have five key outcomes we want to achieve as part of 24-7 YouthWork. These have been measured against all three years of the survey by The Collaborative Trust and reported against in the YouthVoice Survey referred to below.
To help provide a holistic support network for students which complements and enhances the role of teachers.
Building Positive Relationships
To help build positive relationships for students. This includes student relationships with staff, with their peers and with significant adults such as our youth workers.
Cultivating School Spirit
To enhance the spirit, vision and values of the school by working alongside students, student groups and staff in creating a safe and friendly environment; developing a sense of whanaungatanga (connection and belonging).
To encourage, strengthen and grow students in leadership roles.
Integrating Students with Out-of-School Activities
To help connect young people with suitable out-of-school activities, which develop their strengths and enhance their community connections.
YouthVoice Survey 2022
The following statements were taken from the YouthVoice Survey 2022, a report prepared by Nicola Morton (Phd) and Sarah Wylie (MA) of The Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development for 24-7 YouthWork – January 2023.
“For many students, 24-7 YouthWork is clearly an immensely valuable component of their high school [or school] experience, and the consistency of findings across time suggests the model of support is well established and effective in achieving its aims”.
“Overall feedback on the effectiveness of 24-7 Youth Workers was overwhelmingly positive, and remarkably similar to findings from 2014 and 2017. Over three-quarters of respondents reported an improvement in their overall wellbeing over the time they had been interacting with their Youth Worker, and more than half reported having been helped by their Youth Worker ‘a lot’ or ‘very much’. Feedback on specific outcome areas was also encouraging, with evidence of strong relationship building and support mechanisms”.
“High proportions of respondents reported improvement in their overall wellbeing since interacting with a 24-7 Youth Worker, and having been helped by them to a large extent. These results have remained very consistent over time, with similar proportions being reported in 2014 and 2017. Given the challenges presented over the last three years by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health response, the consistency of these results is rather remarkable, and speaks to a concerted effort on the part of 24-7 Youth Workers to maintain a stable, positive influence on these young people during highly unpredictable circumstances”.
“Statistical analysis of the factors which were most strongly associated with more positive impact suggested one-on-one sessions and out of school activities were the most effective types of interaction students experienced, and the longevity of a student’s relationship with their youth worker was also a significant factor. These findings are supported by qualitative analysis of free text feedback on the most positive aspects of respondents’ 24-7 experience, in which ‘having someone to talk to’ stood out as the most prominent theme”.
According to the 2022 YouthVoice Survey, the most positive aspect students cited about their 24-7 experience was ‘having someone to talk to’. They also strongly appreciated the longer term nature of the relationship they had with youth workers, citing “My youth worker has built a positive relationship with me (92.4% ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’)”, followed by “My youth worker has helped support other students at my school (85.2% ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’).
Having someone to talk to, most common theme expressed by students/ most positive thing about their 24-7 experience.
Sub themes related to ‘having someone to talk to’ include trustworthiness/confidentiality, perceived lack of judgement, having someone to talk to other than friends/family/counsellors/teachers
Figure 12: Word cloud of responses to most positive thing about 24-7 Youth Worker experience. Taken from the Youth Voice Survey 2022, prepared by Nicola Morton (PhD) and Sarah Wylie (MA).
Quotes from YouthVoice Survey
"Having opportunities to do activities I never would have thought about and getting to learn and know my peers better."
"They [youth workers] have given me a place and people I can go to and feel safe."
"Having people I can go to no matter how I’m feeling, people who will do anything to help me feel safe and loved."
"Learning to be more open about my problems, also helping me with settling into class and make my mental thoughts about school better and how I interact with my teachers and friends."
"Just having a new connection with someone older."
"I was taught how to build relationships with people I didn’t even think of talking to and we were even able to get along very well."
"Support to grow my leadership and wellbeing and social skills."
Hope Presbyterian Hornby is in partnership with Hornby High School. We have been providing youth work in the school since 2003.
Hope Presbyterian Rolleston is in partnership with with Rolleston School. We have been providing youth work in the school since 2009.
Hope Presbyterian Rolleston is also in partnership with Rolleston College. We have been providing youth work in the school since it opened in 2017.