Professionals - YMCA DownsLink Group

The YMCA WiSE Project provide specialist support to children and young people up to the age of 25 who are at risk of or experiencing CSE. We work across Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and Surrey.   

We use a trauma informed approach with a holistic support model to build a safe and stable environment for children and young people so that meaningful psychoeducational work can be completed, which can reduce and/or prevent the risk of sexual exploitation as well as other key risks.

WiSE Project Workers work collaboratively with other professionals, such as children’s services, police, health and education, to support interventions which keep children and young people safe, disrupt the activity of perpetrators and where possible, lead to prosecutions. 


Please note that engagement with the YMCA WiSE Project is voluntary; professionals cannot include YMCA WiSE as a compulsory part of a child or young person’s contract, order or conditional agreement. You must ensure that you have discussed a referral to YMCA WiSE with the child or young person and got their consent.  Contact your local YMCA WiSE office if you require support in explaining the role of the project to a child and young person. 

Referral Process

  • We aim to respond to all referrals within 10 working days. Any urgent safeguarding matters need to be referred immediately to Children’s Social Care or the Police.
  • We are a small team covering 3 counties and at times we may have to operate a waiting list. 
  • We may not always be able to accept a referral. When discussing our service with a young person and their family, it would be helpful if you could manage their expectations by advising that we may not always be able to accept the referral. If we are unable to accept a referral, we will always try to signpost and suggest onward referrals for the young person.  


We deliver multiagency training within East Sussex and Brighton & Hove through the LSCB. You can find details of upcoming events on their website. We can also provide bespoke training to any organisation across all 3 of our areas. Please get in touch for more information on content and cost. 

Professional Feedback Form

If we have supported you as a professional or a young person you are working with and would like to leave us feedback please click here. Feedback is really useful in shaping our future work.  


Frequently asked questions

We offer two main forms of support through a Consultation service and Direct Work.  

Consultation – If you, as a professional, already have a positive relationship with a child or young person you are working with, it could be more effective for us to support you in delivering work. Sessions could include grooming, healthy relationships, protective behaviour work, consent, sexual health and other related topics to increase understanding and reduce vulnerabilities. We can support you to put together a set of sessions and share resources in order to deliver this work effectively to a child or young person. 
Click Here for a Referral Form. 

Direct Work – If there are no professional relationships or a more specialised approach is required, we can offer direct work with a child or young person. We aim to meet with the child or young person weekly in order to build a trusted relationship. This work takes time and can only be effective when a young person feels safe and stable.
Click Here for Referral Form. 

Surrey Early Intervention Group Work - Currently we are able to offer early intervention group work in Surrey schools, for young people who have been identified as at risk of sexual exploitation, but do not meet the threshold for one to one direct work within the project. Schools would need to identify a group of young people and obtain parental consent. The group work sessions would be weekly and run for 4-6 weeks.
Click Here for Referral Form.

How can we Support?

*Please refrain from using victim blaming language such as ‘putting themselves at risk’ ‘wearing provocative clothing’   


YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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