Some of Youthscape's work, like our drop-in at Bute Mills, is open to all young people, meaning anyone can come along and get involved whenever they want. But many of our other programmes require a referral so we can manage demand and also make sure that it's suitable.
At any stage you can call or email Gemma Milligan, YS Luton's Assistant Director, to discuss options and get advice.
You can make an initial referral using the form on this page - data is protected using secure 256-bit encryption. A range of Frequently Asked Questions about referrals are answered beneath the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can I refer to a Youthscape project?
Youthscape work with young people in school years 7 to 13 (11-18 year olds). Please do also take note of any age or need requirements for each individual project, as that will determine the young people who are able to take part.
Why do I need to refer a young person?
As a number of our projects are designed to support young people around a specific need, we want to ensure those young people who require this support the most are the ones who receive it. We therefore will need to know background information on the young person so that we can make a decision which one of our projects is the best fit to help them. Each project also has a limited number of spaces so that it can run in the most effective way possible. Referrals mean that we can ensure those spaces are allocated appropriately.
How many projects can I refer a young person for?
You can refer a young person to as many projects as you feel they would benefit from. However, please do note that completing a referral form on behalf of a young person does not guarantee them a space on the project. We will make a decision about which project(s) it is suitable for the young person to take part in based upon their needs, the number of referrals we have received for a specific project, and staff capacity. If we decide that a specific project isn’t suitable for a young person at a certain time, you are welcome to refer them again in the future.
How long will it take before a young person can take part in a project?
Most projects run termly, and so depending on when in the term the referral is made, you may need to wait until the next cycle of the project before the young person can take part. We will advise you on programme start dates. If the next cycle of the project is already full, we will put you on a waiting list and will let you know an estimated timeframe for when the young person will be able to take part.
If we determine that a specific project is not suitable for the young person, we will always suggest another Youthscape project that they can access, and/or will signpost to other local services that may be able to provide necessary support .
External Mentoring and the Hope Afternoon are slightly different as they run all year round (during term time). If we determine that the Hope Afternoon is a suitable fit to support the young person, then they will be able to begin attending immediately. If we determine that external mentoring is a suitable fit to support the young person, then the amount of waiting time will depend on our staff capacity and the number of mentees we are working with at the time. We will, however, aim to give you an estimated timeframe of when there is likely to be availability to work with the young person.
Why don’t all Youthscape projects require referral?
Some projects are available for access by all young people in the specified age bracket, as they are not providing targeted support around a need. If this is the case for a certain project, then we will not need to ensure spaces are allocated appropriately or that those young people who need the support the most are those accessing it. For these projects, the young person can simply turn up and join in.
Do I need to pay for a young person to take part in projects that require referral?
Most Youthscape projects are completely free for young people to take part in, however there are a few that do involve a cost due to staff time required and the nature of the project. Mentoring has a charge of £10 per session (you must pay for at least six sessions), and Compass has a cost of £195 per young person, or less if a school refers more than one student. We will discuss this with you further when we follow up your referral.
What is the next step after I have completed the referral form?
Once you have completed the referral form a member of Youthscape staff will get in touch with you within a week. The staff member will discuss the young person’s needs, whether the indicated project(s) is the correct fit to help meet those needs, and will be able to give further information on the timeframe within which the young person would be likely to access the project.
If this conversation confirms that both parties believe taking part in the project is the best fit for the young person, then the staff member will arrange an opportunity to meet them, and to get a consent form signed by the parent/carer. If both parties do not agree that the project is the best fit for the young person, then the Youthscape staff member will suggest and give information on another Youthscape project(s) which may be suitable, and/or will signpost to other local services that may be able to provide necessary support.