Meet the i-Rock team supporting young people in Hastings

i-Rock is an award winning mental health, wellbeing i-Rock Meet the Teamand practical support service for young people aged 14 – 25 in Hastings.

In March they held a successful open day to welcome visitors into their new larger space at Rock House and meet the staff behind the service.

We spoke with the team to learn more about i-Rock and their roles.

Project Coordinator Kirsten said; ‘‘As i-Rock Project Coordinator it’s my role to oversee the day to day running of this innovative project. I try to ensure that we offer a warm, welcoming, informal environment, and that all our young people feel listened to.

When a young person arrives at i-Rock they’re greeted by one of our team, followed by an initial chat in one of our private rooms to talk about the issues they are experiencing. We then explore the best options to support them, whether that’s further conversation with us or a specific service. Often we offer brief interventions, advice and reassurance. You don’t need an appointment, you can just drop in, although often people are referred by their GP or school.

Each team member works directly with young people and the service also has good relationships and links with local schools, colleges, statutory services and third sector organisations, who tell us i-Rock has been invaluable. We look forward to welcoming many more young people who are in need of emotional, wellbeing or practical advice.’’

Project Worker Natalie adds; ‘‘i-Rock is a place that really works for young people and working closely with other services is key to our success. It’s an accessible, safe space that breaks down barriers that young people are so often faced with. I see my role as the link between young people and services, as it can be difficult for them to navigate the criteria and pathways into the right services for them.’’

The team is also delighted to welcome new Peer Support Worker Jessie, who says; ‘‘my role is to help support young people in their journey to recovery and wellbeing. Talking about personal issues can be scary and make anyone feel vulnerable, but here we offer a warm, friendly, non-judgmental and safe space.’’

An example of the team’s success is a young person who visited i-Rock for support with mental health, family relationships, engaging with college, getting a job and finding somewhere to live. Having seen an i-Rock practitioner for guidance and practical support with all these concerns, they reported improvements in mood, at college, in relationships and went on to secure a part time job and University place. They said; “After coming to i-Rock I felt like things just fell into place.”

i-Rock was developed as part of the East Sussex Better Together Healthy Hastings and Rother Programme, which aims to reduce health inequalities and improve health and wellbeing outcomes in these areas. Services available through i-Rock include mental health, emotional and wellbeing advice, education, employment, housing and finance support.

Interested in dropping in? The service welcomes young people aged 14 – 25 on Mondays, Wednesday’s and Fridays 10 – 6pm.

No referral or appointments are required, just come along to i-Rock, Rock House, 49-51, Cambridge Road, Hastings, East Sussex.

For the latest updates please visit the i-Rock Facebook page.