Come rain or shine keep your eyes peeled for Croydon Drop In’s Talkbus, a mobile information support hub for 10 to 25-year-olds that can be found on the streets of Croydon. It’s important for young people to have a safe space to go when they first start to struggle with issues such as mental health, exam anxiety, sexual health, and bullying, but reaching out to traditional services may seem a little alien at first. To prevent delays in getting the right help, Talkbus is here to bridge the gap.
With funding from organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund, Children In Need and NHS South West London, Talkbus is a free hub offering a warm and safe space for young people to speak freely and receive confidential guidance from outreach workers.
Talkbus provides flexible access and early support for young people in their communities by meeting young people in the places where they live, study and hang out. With increasing numbers of young people experiencing mental health challenges, the Talkbus service is now more important than ever.
Visiting high streets, neighbourhoods, community events, schools and colleges, Talkbus works to support the health and wellbeing of young people by making sure they have access to appropriate guidance and support in the heart of the community. With free WiFi, a comfortable space to relax and a TV, Croydon Drop In have created a warm and safe environment for young people who may be in crisis or just want a friendly face to talk to.
With trained outreach workers on board who are qualified to offer advice in areas including mental health, emotional wellbeing, sexual health, bullying and substance misuse, Talkbus also provides pathways to appropriate health and social care services in the local area to ensure young people receive appropriate care.
Outreach workers like Jess and Una play a valuable role in supporting young people’s emotional wellbeing, offering social support to improve young people’s and their family’s ability to cope with the challenges they’re experiencing. Liam* suffers with anxiety which affects his ability to socialise in big groups. When he reached out to Croydon Drop In’s Outreach Team his mood was low, which was impacting his school attendance. After meeting Liam, the team recommended that he attend Talkbus’ Safe Space sessions, where he was able to access free counselling and emotional wellbeing support. Liam now receives informal counselling to help him reintegrate back into school and feel comfortable being in groups.
“Talkbus makes sure that young people have a safe space to speak freely about things that matter most to them. We know that young people want to talk about their emotions and how they’re feeling through these rough times and that’s what we’re here for.”Jess. Talkbus Outreach Worker
Travelling around popular Croydon sites throughout the week, outreach workers also provide referrals to Croydon Drop In’s free counselling service, where clients can receive weekly counselling sessions to support issues around mental health and wellbeing. Often reaching those who are marginalised and at high risk of poor mental health, Talkbus is perfectly placed to support those who need it most.
By meeting young people where they live, study and hang out, in over 25 years of operation Talkbus has been able to create recognition and build trust in communities throughout Croydon. The creation of a trusted, non-judgmental safe space over the years has created an openness about mental health where young people feel comfortable to open up about their emotions and topics that are of interest to them.
Get in touch with Croydon Drop In
Main telephone 020 8680 0404
Outreach team 07592 037 823
*Name changed to maintain confidentiality.