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Southside is one of six local charities delivering the Lifestyle Change Project, funded by the 2018 BATH HALF MARATHON OFFICIAL LOCAL CHARITY APPEAL, the Action Against Child Poverty Campaign

Southside was established 20 years ago and offers support to individuals and families with complex difficulties such as poor mental health, substance abuse and domestic abuse. We also provide the domestic abuse service for Bath and North East Somerset working with the highest risk victims. In addition we offer a range of services for children and a Young Advocates project. Our Young Advocates are young people who have used our services and now peer mentor other young people facing similar difficulties.

20 years ago we had one and a half workers, we now have over 60 paid workers and volunteers. Over half of our paid workers were service users. We believe passionately that no one should be defined by their past.

Tel : 01225 331243

A Southside Case Study – The Young Advocates Project

16 year old Holly was seriously self-harming and said that she felt isolated and lonely. She also said that she found talking to people of any age difficult, she thought that they wouldn’t want to know her. “Everyone knows my family and they think that I will be like them. I can’t get away from that. My nan used to say “give a dog a bad name…..That’s what I feel like. I have thought about ending it all, at least I would have a bit of control. I hate my life. I only see my dad when he wants money from my mum and if he doesn’t get it he gets violent”

Holly’s mum was supported by one of our Domestic Abuse Workers who helped them to keep and stay safe and prevent dad from contacting anyone in the family. The worker put a TAU (Treat as Urgent) marker on their home so that the police would immediately respond to any calls from the family. Holly was encouraged to become a Young Advocate and get involved with the work of the Young Advocates project. Holly feels passionately about helping young people like her “to get through it”, make them feel they are not alone and knows that they too have important life experiences to share. She is now a qualified peer mentor working in colleges and schools.

Holly no longer self-harms, is far more confident, happy and outgoing, and an enthusiastic Young Advocate, she is taking 4 A Levels. Her ambition is to become a social worker. The family that includes two younger brothers feel safe and happy knowing that they will always have support from Southside. They had their first family holiday this year. As Holly said “any money we had was drunk by my dad, no more it won’t be!”

(The name has been changed)