Bishop Paul has visited The Market Place in the centre of Leeds, a drop-in centre for young people, which was established by Leeds Parish Church over 20 years ago.
It has since grown in to a substantial drop-in and counselling service which is held in high esteem by national and local bodies and the young people who access the services.
Director Emma Holmes (above) says, “As well as the drop-in, we uniquely offer a counselling service for up to 12 months at a time, or even longer, and young people are encouraged to refer themselves. We’re known for our 'young person centred' approach, and the emphasis is on choice, informality and flexibility."
Diocesan Youth Work Adviser, Nic Sheppard, says, “I represent the Diocesan Bishop on the Board of Directors, which is a tangible mark of the diocese’s ongoing support and concern for the mental health and well-being of young people across the city of Leeds. It’s particularly important at a time when there’s been an increase nationally in adolescent anxiety.
“The project offers support for young people to work through their issues, at their pace, in their way, and to develop their own emotional resilience. It’s the only service in Leeds offering the range and quantity of mental-health focused, one-to-one services for this age-range.”
Some of the users’ comments are:
“It’s a really friendly and comfortable place and has really helped me”;
“The sessions helped me look at my life from a wider view and to understand what I really feel inside about my own actions and the actions of others”.