Inspirational youth worker shortlisted for national Youth Matters Awards - YMCA DownsLink Group

Inspirational youth worker shortlisted for national Youth Matters Awards

Youth Matters Awards

We’re delighted that our West Sussex Youth Hub Development Coordinator, Eli Adie,  has reached the semi-finals of the Youth Matters Awards. Eli has been shortlisted for the Young Worker of the Year Award and we believe that her dedication, passion and commitment to the young people and the services she manages has earned her a place in the final. You can help Eli get there by VOTING ONLINE.

Since starting her role in West Sussex, Eli has worked tirelessly to implement new projects in both Crawley and Worthing. She has worked in partnership with both statutory and voluntary partners and led work to set up pathways for young people into emotional wellbeing and mental health projects.

Eli has developed our emotional wellbeing, and mental health projects Mind the Gap and the Bite-Size offer in partnership with West Sussex County Council. She has successfully sought funding for and implemented a new LGBTQU+ youth support service, developed our Crawley Youth Advice Centre to not only have a YMCA offer through our own specialist Support and Advice workers but working with local delivery partners offering employment support and counselling. On top of all that, she has taken on the management of the therapeutic support in our partnership project ‘Room to Rant’ and supported the rollout of this important young men’s support service across Sussex and continued to support Brighton delivery.

On finding out about being shortlisted for the Youth Matters Awards, Eli said:

“It’s a real honour to be nominated for this award. I think it’s vital that young people can see themselves represented within the charity sector workforce at all levels, including management, so that they can feel confident that young people’s voices are truly represented, listened to and respected. As a young person I experienced family breakdown, hidden homelessness and enduring mental health problems and relied heavily on youth services and youth clubs. I’m incredibly proud to be able to work in this role with YMCA DLG, developing our Youth Hub services, co-producing with local young people to ensure that our services are responsive to young people’s needs.”

Eli’s passion for and commitment to youth voice underpins all the work she undertakes. Eli set up Youth Advisory Boards (YABs) for her area and also led on setting up YMCA DownLink Group-wide thematic YABs, ensuring that as an organisation, we were able to offer space for emerging issues and concerns for young people, including anti-black racism and LGBTQU+ issues.

Throughout the past year, Eli has responded to the changes COVID has forced upon us with resilience and dedication, keeping people safe while still meeting young people’s needs and providing continuous service.

Eli adds:

“I’m particularly proud to have been able to use my position over the last 18 months to advocate for and amplify the voices of marginalised young people in West Sussex and can’t wait to continue to build on that work in the years to come. I’d just like to take a minute to shout out my amazing team past and present  for their dedication to the young people we support, as well as all the young people who have taken part in our Youth Advisory Boards and influenced and informed our support services.”

Youth Matters Awards – VOTE NOW

Don’t forget that you can help determine the finalists so please vote for Eli today! Voting for the Youth Matters Awards will close Friday 13 August and you can only vote once in each category.

Support our work with young people

If you’d like to support our work to transform the lives of young people facing homelessness DONATE  HERE. Or, if you would like to offer longer-term support, consider becoming a ROOM SPONSOR and give a vulnerable young person in your community the chance of a brighter future.


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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