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This handbook gives you information and advice on job-hunting as well as links (phone numbers and websites) to other organisations that can help you with a range of different issues. Remember to talk to your Personal Adviser or Youth Worker, who will listen to you, help you to make the best choices for you, and support you.

Introduction


About us................................................................................................................................................ 2

Choices...................................................................................................................................... 3

Work and training......................................................................................................... 4

Looking for your first job...................................................................................... 6

CVs and applications.................................................................................................. 9

Interviews........................................................................................................................... 17

Free time.............................................................................................................................. 20

Money..................................................................................................................................... 22

Travel and transport................................................................................................ 26

Housing.................................................................................................................................. 27

Keeping safe. ................................................................................................................... 28

Health...................................................................................................................................... 29

Law............................................................................................................................................. 30

Relationships................................................................................................................... 31

Notes...................................................................................................................................................... 32 How to contact us................................................................................................. Back cover

Contents

1


Part of Essex County Council Integrated Youth Services (IYS), Connexions offers free and impartial information, advice, guidance and support to all 13 to 19 year olds, and older for some young people with additional needs. IYS brings together a wide range of youth provision through One Stop Shops, youth centres, clubs and mobile units, providing young people with information, advice and guidance, personal development opportunities and challenging experiences. You can talk to us or get information about all sorts of life choices, including… Jobs Relationships Money Housing Learning Travel & Transport Health Personal development Free time Careers and lots more!

It’s easy to contact us… you can either…

• See your Connexions Personal

Adviser in your school/college/ training organisation Contact your local Connexions Centre/One Stop Shop – phone or call in to talk to your Personal Adviser (see the list on the back of this booklet) Click onto www.essexconnexions.co.uk Phone Connexions Direct on 080 800 13 2 19 (8am to 2am, 7 days a week) or text 07766 4 13 2 19 or webchat/email www.connexions-direct.com

• •

Tell us what you think Your opinions matter, because they help us develop our service to make it even better for you. So once you have checked it out, feel free to have your say. You can give us feedback through our website www.essexconnexions.co.uk

12

About us


The main choices available to you at 16+ are: continuing in education at school or college work and training finding a job

• • •

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to continue learning throughout your life. This will give you a greater choice of careers, more confidence and better prospects. You may decide at a later date that you want to return to full-time education. Contact your Personal Adviser to talk about courses that suit your career interests.

Fast Tomato Fast Tomato can help you make important decisions about your future. As you complete the questionnaires in the program, information builds up and is used to make suggestions about jobs, qualifications, training and Apprenticeships. Log onto www.fasttomato.com for a free ten-day guest account and see for yourself what it can do. For more information on Fast Tomato, speak to your Personal Adviser.

Choices

3


When you start to job hunt it’s important to think about a job with training. Training can help you: learn to do your job gain qualifications move on in your career earn more money in the future get a sense of achievement

• • • • •

If you feel you’re not ready for an Apprenticeship or a job yet, ask your Personal Adviser about Entry to Employment e2e (before September 2010) or Foundation Learning (after September 2010).

4

Work and training

Foundation Learning Foundation Learning courses combine practical and vocational experience with basic English, maths and ICT at entry level and level 1 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The QCF shows how all qualifications fit together, and how one level can lead to another. Foundation Learning can be for both young people and adults. These programmes of study will help you to develop the skills needed for adult and working life. Foundation Learning will provide a framework of small stepping stones to recognise your achievements and to help you plan your progression to level 2 qualifications, such as GCSEs at grades A*- C and NVQ level 2, or to an Apprenticeship or a Diploma.


On a Foundation Learning course you would work on a personalised learning programme based on the core areas of functional skills, personal and social development and subject and vocational knowledge. Functional skills are the practical skills in English, maths and ICT that everyone needs to enable them to work with confidence and independence in everyday life.

Apprenticeships

Foundation Learning could be for you if you think you need some extra support to make a successful start to your working life. It is a new initiative, but some programmes should be available in all local authorities by September 2010. Talk to your Personal Adviser for more information and advice on your Foundation Learning options.

• You’ll also spend time with

• If you are over 16 and not

in full-time education, an Apprenticeship could be right for you.

• Apprentices learn on the job,

building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time. a learning provider, gaining key skills such as team work, problem-solving, communication and using ICT, which are all useful in the job market.

• Apprenticeships are a structured programme of training leading to a recognised qualification, covering a wide range of occupations. They are available at different levels, which allows you to choose the speed at which you learn.

• The right Apprenticeship

for you will depend on your interests, experience and the opportunities in your area. Talk to your Personal Adviser about the options available and look on the website www. apprenticeships.org.uk for more information and advice.

Work and training

5


What are the advantages of having a job? You may have your own ideas, but also consider the following: money independence meeting new people getting qualifications learning new skills taking control of your life

• • •

• • •

If that’s what you can get out of a job, what do employers want from you? Employers say they want people who can: read, write and use numbers work in a team as well as on their own solve problems use computers explain clearly what they mean ask for help when they need it

• • •

• • •

How many of these qualities can you offer?

Before you start to job hunt, check through the following list to find out how prepared you are. Tick the questions where you can answer ‘yes’. Do you know the types of jobs you are looking for? Do you know what skills and qualifications you may need? Are you sure about the skills you can offer? Have you got a CV? Have you been looking for vacancies? Do you know about local employers and what they do? Do you feel confident about filling in forms and writing letters? Are you happy using the telephone? Don’t worry if you can’t answer ‘yes’ to many of the questions at the moment. This booklet will help you with advice and information. You can also chat to your Personal Adviser about areas where you think you need to improve.

6

Looking for your first job


Get ready to job hunt When you have completed your education you will have to look for your first job. No matter how many – or few – qualifications you have, you will have to prove your worth to your employer. It is estimated that fewer than half of all job vacancies are advertised, so how do you find that job? Here are a few general tips to help you start your search: You can find job vacancies at your Connexions Centre, on the Internet, in local and national newspapers and through recruitment agencies. Contact friends, relatives and people you know and tell them you are interested in finding work in a particular area. This is called networking and is the most effective way of finding work. You could try writing to companies to ask if they have any suitable vacancies, even if these have not been advertised. This is called sending a ‘speculative letter’. You can also check out company websites to see if they encourage online enquiries or applications.

Top Tip Keep a copy of anything you send to prospective employers so you can follow up your applications.

• • •

• Make sure you read all the details in a job advert

carefully, to see if you meet the main requirements of the job. This part may be called the ‘person specification’. If you are asked for an email address, make sure the one you give to employers is appropriate. It could create a bad impression if you send an employer a non-professional email address. If necessary have two email addresses, one for work and one for friends. If you have an answering service on your phone make sure the message is suitable for an employer to listen to. First impressions count! Be prepared to send out lots of letters and don’t get disheartened if you don’t always receive a reply.

• •

Looking for your first job

7


Where to look for jobs If you know what you want to do, or even if you’re just starting out on your job search, it’s worth investigating the range of jobs available. The following are some good places to start: Connexions Centres and your local Connexions website www.essexconnexions.co.uk Your Personal Adviser, for information on opportunities with local trainers and employers. Jobcentre Plus. The Internet, for tips on successful job hunting and to find out about local and national employers. Local and national newspapers. Specialist magazines, for example Caterer and Hotelkeeper for jobs in the hospitality industry. Local radio, which may have a daily or weekly job spot. Employment agencies, although their jobs are often for people aged 18 or over. Shop windows and supermarket notice boards.

• • • • • • • • •

Job hunting using the Internet

• Newspaper job sites – list in electronic form all the jobs that appear in the

printed paper. Employment agency sites – most major employment agencies have a database that lets you search for the type of job you are looking for, though most will be for people over 18. Job sites – these contain a variety of jobs from all career areas, at all levels, across the whole country. You can usually narrow your search down by job type and location. Company web sites – these may contain all sorts of useful information, including company structure, application procedures and current vacancies. Web addresses appear in the press, on TV advertising, in brochures and on products. For jobs advertised in local papers go to www.thisisessex.co.uk

• • • • •

8

Looking for your first job


There are two main ways of applying for a job: Sending a CV (curriculum vitae, meaning ‘course of life’) with a covering letter. Completing an application form.

• •

Tips for a good CV

• A good CV is vital in helping

you to sell yourself to a prospective employer. It allows you to show an employer that you have the necessary skills and qualities to do the job. The aim of your CV is to get you an interview, so try to make sure it stands out from the crowd.

• •

Your CV should be: Neatly presented – easy to read, with good grammar and accurate spelling. It should always be wordprocessed. Concise – no longer than 2 sides of A4 paper. Keep it brief and factual. Relevant – include as much information as possible that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Organised – set out in a logical order, with clear section headings. Complete – don’t leave unexplained gaps, as the employer may wonder what you were doing.

• • • • •

Top tip! Go to www. essexconnexions. co.uk and register with MyConnexions. You’ll then be able to build your own CV using the easy step-by-step process, save your CV and download and print it out.

CVs and applications

9


Writing your CV There are many different styles you could use for your CV, so pick one that you like the look of and that you find easy to follow. Most CVs will have the following headings: Personal details – name, address and telephone number are essential. Personal profile – a brief, positive statement telling the employer what you would most like them to know about you. Education and qualifications – usually the most recent first, factual and very brief. Employment/work experience – most recent first. Give dates, job titles, name of organisation and a brief outline of your main duties. Skills such as using IT, communicating with people or problem-solving – don’t just list your skills, tell the employer how you could demonstrate them. Interests – keep it brief. Referees – one from school or college and, if possible, one from work, either a full or part-time job.

• • • • • • •

Top tip! Don’t forget to include details of any voluntary work you have done.

10

CVs and applications


CVs and applications

11


Covering letter A covering letter gives you a good opportunity to create a positive impression on a future employer. You can use a covering letter to: Accompany a CV or application form. This is your chance to tell the employer why you should be considered for the job. Apply speculatively to employers when a vacancy has not yet been advertised.

• •

Tips for a good covering letter State which job you are applying for and quote a reference number from the job advert if appropriate. Say why you are writing and what you want. Be brief and don’t include unnecessary detail. Try not to duplicate information you have already included on your CV. Make sure your name and address are on your CV as well as the covering letter in case they are separated. Type your letter if your handwriting is poor.

• • • • • •

Top tip! Go to www.essexconnexions. co.uk and register with MyConnexions. You’ll then be able to create speculative and targeted covering letters using the template provided and save, store, edit or print them out as required.

• If you write your letter, make •

sure your writing is neat and presentable – employers like to see that you can write legibly. Don’t use coloured inks, brightly coloured paper or paper with designs on it. Conclude your letter with ‘Yours faithfully’ if you began it ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. Use ‘Yours sincerely’ if you used the person’s name at the start of your letter. Keep copies of your CV and letters to refer to if you are invited for an interview.

12

CVs and applications


Example of an application letter for a specific job

CVs and applications

13


Example of a speculative letter when no job has been advertised

14

CVs and applications


Application forms

• Application forms are •

the most usual method of applying for a job. The form is the same for each applicant, which makes it easier for the employer to compare them. An employer needs to decide why they should want you to work for them – your suitability – and why you want to work for them – your motivation.

Do: • Read the form carefully the whole way through

before you start. Photocopy the form several times to practise on. Follow all instructions, e.g. use black ink, use block capitals. Fill in every section, or put ‘Not applicable’ if necessary. Link your application to the job description. Keep your answers brief and to the point. Ask someone to check your spelling and grammar before you fill in the final version. Ask permission from your referees before you give their names. Send a covering letter with your form.

• • • • • • •

• • Make sure you send the form in time to meet the closing date.

Don’t: • Claim you have skills without providing the • • • • •

evidence to back up your claim. Lie or exaggerate. Undersell yourself and your abilities – be honest. Send in a form with poor grammar or inaccurate spelling. Cram too much information in a small space. Fold or crease the form, or send it in an envelope that is too small.

CVs and applications

15


The Power of Positive Thinking When you’re completing your CV, letter or application form, try to use some words or phrases that describe positive attitudes and characteristics. These attributes are often seen as valuable in the workplace. Try some of the examples listed in the panel on the right, but remember: if you use some of these words or phrases to describe yourself you may be asked to prove the point or give examples at an interview. Don’t undersell yourself, but don’t lie or exaggerate either.

16

CVs and applications

Adaptable Ambitious Articulate Assertive Attention to detail Communicating Confident Coping with pressure Dealing with people Decision-making Determined Efficient Enthusiastic Flexible Hardworking Innovative Keen Motivated Organised Practical Problem-solving Punctual Responsible Resourceful Team worker Thorough Willing to learn


For any job you will have an interview. Many people regard the prospect of an interview with anxiety, but there’s nothing to worry about if you are well prepared. An interview is basically a chance to share information and have a discussion. The interviewer can find out more about you and you can find out more about the job and ask questions. Remember! The key to interview success is thorough preparation. Before the interview Re-read the job advert and job description. Re-read your CV and/or application form. Know what your main strengths are in relation to the job. Find out as much as you can about the company or organisation – the Internet is a good place to start your research. Check the times of trains and buses if you will be using public transport. Make sure you know exactly where and when the interview will be held. Write down the main points you would like to get across to the interviewer(s). Prepare answers to likely questions.

• • • • • • • •

Some possible interview questions What interests you most about this job? What qualities can you bring to this company/organisation? What skills would you like to develop and why? What have you been doing since you left school/your last job? Do you prefer working with others or on your own? Tell me about an occasion when you worked as part of a team. Describe a difficult issue you had to deal with. How did you cope with this? Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. Describe yourself using three words. How do you react under pressure? What did you like/dislike about your previous job/work experience?

• • • • • • • • • • •

Interviews

17


At the interview Enter the room when invited to do so. Smile, shake hands and say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’. Sit down when asked, don’t slouch and don’t chew gum. Listen carefully to the questions and try not to give just yes or no answers. Give yourself time to think before you answer each question. Keep your answers relevant to the job you have applied for. If you are interviewed by a panel try to make some eye contact with each of the members of the panel. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer(s), perhaps about the company or the job itself. At the end, shake hands and thank the interviewer(s) for seeing you.

• • • • • • •

On the day Make sure you take everything you need – invitation to the interview, directions, CV, record of progress. Arrive early – 10 or 15 minutes before your interview is sensible. Dress smartly – first impressions are crucial.

• •

• •

After the interview You will be informed whether or not you have got the job. You may be given feedback if you were unsuccessful on this occasion. Listen carefully to any feedback and try not to become defensive about any constructive criticism. Think about the questions you were asked and whether you could have answered any of them differently. Think about how you could improve your interview technique. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time – you never know, there could be more opportunities with their company in the future.

• • • • • •

18

Interviews


Company Contact

Tel no

Company Contact

Tel no

Company Contact

Tel no

Company Contact

Tel no

Job applications

19


Make the most of your free time and develop your skills through volunteering and personal development opportunities. Essex County Council delivers a wide range of youth activities, providing you with personal development opportunities and challenging experiences. www.essexyounglife.co.uk – An online directory of activities, clubs, advice and support groups across Essex. You can look for things to do, places to go, find information about a particular type of club or group, and where they are located.  ww.essexyoungcarers.co.uk - Information for young carers on the help w available to them and opportunities to have some fun networking with other young carers. www.iwillvolunteer.co.uk – designed by young people to inspire other young people to think volunteering. Showcases the benefits and signposts to volunteering opportunities. www.vinspired.com – vinvolved is the new national youth volunteering programme, which offers opportunities in Essex. It has replaced the Millennium Volunteers. Hotline 0800 089 9000. www.dofe.org - The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, flexible programme of cultural and adventurous activities for all young people, whatever your background or ability. To find an award centre near you call the County Award Office on 01245 436633, or go to www.essexdofe.org. www.princes-trust.org.uk - Get on a Prince’s Trust Team course and you’ll take on challenges, build skills and confidence, make friends and a lot more. If you are leaving care, The Prince’s Trust can find a mentor to help you with choices, and you could also use their programmes to help you become independent. Call 0800 842842 for more information on all Prince’s Trust programmes.

20

Free time


www.csv.org.uk - Community Service Volunteers offer full-time volunteering opportunities of between four months and a year. You’ll receive food, accommodation, travel and a lunch allowance. Local Action offers local volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged people. No volunteer is ever rejected. Volunteering opportunities There is also the opportunity to get involved in the design, delivery, governance and evaluation of our services, or to develop services locally in your community. If you would like to learn more about these volunteering opportunities, email us at involvement@essex.gov.uk. If you would like to apply to the Youth Opportunity Fund for funding to improve things to do and places to go in your local community, email yof@essex.gov.uk or call 01245 431433 to find out how to do this.

Free time

21


Once you start working and earning a wage you will have to think about managing your money. To work out where your money is going, write down everything you spend over a two-week period. If you are spending more than you can afford, see where you can cut back. Be a sharper shopper. Can you buy it cheaper elsewhere? Are there cheaper products that are just as good? For a useful guide to all aspects of money management, go to www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk or call their helpline on 0300 500 5000.

Banks and building societies

• Current accounts are useful for • • •

22

everyday financial transactions. They let you pay in and take out money easily, but may not pay much or any interest. You’ll receive a cheque book and cashpoint card at 16 or 18, depending on the bank or building society. You’ll receive a regular statement showing how much you have paid in (deposits) and taken out (withdrawn). Keep a careful check on the balance in your account so you don’t run up an expensive overdraft.

Money

• Savings accounts pay more interest but it takes longer to withdraw money from them. They are useful if you have money to put aside or are saving up for something special.

• The rate of interest varies between accounts and is called the Annual Equivalent Rate (AER).

Credit Credit is borrowed money that you use to purchase things now and pay for later, at a cost. You usually need to be 18 or over to apply for a credit card and have a regular income. You can pay for purchases on your card up to an agreed limit. You then pay back some or all of the money you owe when you receive your monthly statement. It is very easy to get into difficulties with a credit card. Credit card companies charge interest on the amount you borrow, so you could end up paying a lot more for the goods you buy. The interest to be paid is expressed as the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). You need to pay back a minimum amount each month, but if you only pay the minimum your debt reduces very slowly.

• • • • •


• Store cards are similar to credit cards

• Check out the HM Revenue &

• Check out

National Minimum Wage

but limited to the store that issued the card and tend to charge higher rates of interest.

www.choosingandusing.com for an impartial guide to credit cards.

National Insurance

• Your NI number is sent to you on

a plastic card just before your 16th birthday. Keep it in a safe place. If you haven’t received your number, or have lost it, contact the NI registration helpline on 0845 915 7006. You start paying NI once you earn above a certain amount a week; your employer usually deducts it from your wages.

• •

Income Tax

• The first few thousand pounds you •

earn in any one year are called your Personal Allowance. You don’t pay tax on this amount, but you do pay income tax on the remainder of your earnings. This money is used to pay for national services such as health, education, social security and defence.

Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information.

• The minimum wage rates from 1

October 2009 are: £5.80 per hour for workers aged 22 and over £4.83 per hour for workers aged 18-21 inclusive £3.57 per hour for workers aged under 18, but above school leaving age.   The rates change on 1 October each year. The minimum wage rate doesn’t apply to Apprenticeships, as these are specific training programmes designed to give you the skills and qualifications required in the workplace. For more information on the National Minimum Wage contact the Pay and Works Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

• • •

• •

Money

23


Care to Learn

Young parents may receive help with childcare costs through a scheme called Care to Learn. To get Care to Learn you must be under 20 on the day your learning programme begins. You could also be eligible if you are on a work based learning or e2e programme. Speak to your Personal Adviser for more information or call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 or look on the website www.direct.gov.uk, education and learning section.

• • •

Debt

• Getting into debt is possible at • • • •

24

any age and can be stressful and worrying. If you are in debt, don’t just ignore the fact and hope it will go away. Get help – your local Citizens Advice Bureau offers free confidential advice to help you budget and look at ways of managing your money. Work out exactly where your money is going – for 2 weeks write down every penny you spend – don’t cheat! Decide where you can cut back on your spending, work out a budget and stick to it.

Money

• Call the National Debtline on 0808

808 4000 for more help and advice, or check out their website at www.nationaldebtline.co.uk.

Helpful websites www.whataboutmoney.info/ Impartial financial advice for young adults. Includes a cut-back calculator which can help you see where you can save money on items that you buy regularly. www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk – the Financial Services Authority website. Includes loan, mortgage, budget and parenting calculators in addition to a useful debt test. www.which.co.uk/advice/index.jsp - Which? campaigns to get a fairer deal for consumers and publishes expert, unbiased information to help you make the right choice, whatever you’re buying. Includes a useful credit card repayment calculator. www.direct.gov.uk - the website of the UK government, giving easy access to government information and online services for the public. Has a useful section on money, tax and benefits. Includes a state pension age calculator and a student finance calculator.


www.citizensadvice.org.uk - Offers free confidential advice to help you budget and look at ways of managing your money. www.moneysavingexpert.com Money Saving Expert is about finding the best deals out there and provides tips on how to save money on everything and anything.

• Before you apply to Jobcentre Plus

for any benefits you MUST contact your local Connexions Centre or speak to your Personal Adviser about your entitlement.

• You can find more information and advice on the benefits system at www.direct.gov.uk.

Jobcentre Plus

Tel number

www.hmrc.gov.uk - Provides targeted financial support to families and individuals. Includes a useful student tax checker.

Basildon

01268 365400

Braintree

01376 303132

Brentwood

0845 604 3719

Benefits

Canvey Island

01268 365333

Chelmsford

0845 604 3719

Clacton

01255 233200

Colchester

01206 288900

Harlow

01279 693000

Harwich

01255 206700

Loughton

020 8258 4799

Rayleigh

01268 362000

Witham

01376 303030

• The benefits system is very complex •

• •

and if you are under 18 your rights to benefits are limited. Unemployed 16 or 17 year olds may be able to get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for a short period in special circumstances, e.g. if you will suffer severe hardship if you don’t get JSA. At age 18+ unemployed people can claim JSA. If you are aged 16 or over and are unable to work you may be able to claim Income Support in certain circumstances. Child Benefit is for people who are bringing up children and is not affected by income or savings.

For more information on Jobcentre Plus go to www.jobcentreplus. gov.uk.

Money

25


Contacts for road and rail travel and route planners. Name

Tel number

Website

National rail enquiries

08457 48 49 50

www.nationalrail.co.uk

National Express East Anglia

0845 600 7245

www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com

C2C trains

0845 601 4873

www.c2c-online.co.uk

National Express coaches

08717 81 81 78

www.nationalexpress.com

First Group – buses

0845 020 121

www.firstgroup.com

Travel Line

0871 200 2233

www.traveline.org.uk

AA – route planner

www.theaa.com

RAC – route planner

www.rac.co.uk

Multimap – find a location & directions

www.multimap.com

26

Travel and transport


If you are single and aged under 25 you can only get Housing Benefit for bed-sit accommodation or one room in shared accommodation. Check with your local council if you are eligible for Housing Benefit. For more advice, or if you are in urgent need of housing, speak to your Personal Adviser, your local council or ContactEssex. Council

Tel number

Website

Basildon District Council

01268 533333

www.basildon.gov.uk

Braintree District Council

01376 552525

www.braintree.gov.uk

Brentwood Borough Council

01277 312500

www.brentwood.gov.uk

Castle Point Borough Council

01268 882200

www.castlepoint.gov.uk

Chelmsford Borough Council

01245 606606

www.chelmsford.gov.uk

Colchester Borough Council

01206 282222

www.colchester.gov.uk

Epping Forest District Council

01992 564000

www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Harlow Council

01279 446655

www.harlow.gov.uk

Maldon District Council

01621 854477

www.maldon.gov.uk

Rochford District Council

01702 546366

www.rochford.gov.uk

Tendring District Council

01255 686868

www.tendringdc.gov.uk

Uttlesford District Council

01799 510510

www.uttlesford.gov.uk

ContactEssex (Essex County Council)

0845 603 7627

Housing

27


Most street crimes are committed on the spur of the moment, by people who spot something to steal. In just a few seconds someone can walk off with your valuable possessions. Don’t make it easy for a thief!

• Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you expect to • • • • • • • • • • •

28

be back. Keep to well-lit streets and away from potential danger spots, dark alleys, waste ground and short cuts. Try to make your journey home with friends. Walk confidently and with purpose. Be aware of your surroundings – a personal stereo or too much alcohol can distract you. Carry change or a phone card and a personal attack alarm. Head towards a busy public area if you think you’re being followed. Walk facing traffic so a car can’t pull up behind you unnoticed. Have your keys in your hand ready to open your door. Keep your bag closed and with the opening facing towards you. If you run or cycle regularly, vary your route and the times you exercise. Keep to main paths and open spaces where you can see and be seen.

Keeping safe


We all know that eating a balanced diet, keeping active and cutting down on alcohol are essential to healthy living, but in reality it’s not that easy. Check out the contacts below if you need help or advice with any of these issues.

www.need2know.co.uk/health – Information on all aspects of healthy living www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk – Information on illnesses, symptoms and healthy living. Helpline: 0845 4647 www.quit.org.uk – Help to stop smoking. Quitline: 0800 00 22 00 www.talktofrank.com – The law and the dangers related to drug taking Helpline: 0800 77 66 00 www.alcoholconcern.org.uk – Local services provided by agencies for people with alcohol-related problems www.thesite.org – Life guides for 16-25 year olds www.suzylamplugh.org – Charity that is a leading authority on personal safety www.b-eat.co.uk – Help and advice with eating disorders Helpline: 0845 634 14 14 Youthline: 0845 634 76 50 www.fpa.org.uk – Advice on contraception and sexual health Helpline: 0845 122 86 90 www.brook.org.uk – Brook Advisory Service – free and confidential sexual health advice for people under 25 Helpline: 0808 802 1234

Health

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Information and advice on your rights and responsibilities as a citizen.

www.adviceguide.org.uk – Advice and information from Citizens Advice Bureau www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk – Advice on legal issues from Community Legal Advice. Advice line: 0845 345 4345 www.equalityhumanrights.com – Information and advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline: 0845 604 6610 www.asylumaid.org.uk – Free legal advice service for asylum seekers and refugees Advice line: 0207 354 9264 www.rizer.co.uk – Advice for young people on crime, the law and the consequences of offending. Useful links section

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Law


Where to go for help and advice on relationships with family and friends.

www.there4me.com – NSPCC site for young people Helpline: 0808 800 5000 www.bullying.co.uk – What to do if you are being bullied www.gingerbread.org.uk – National support organisation for single parent families. Helpline: 0808 802 0925 www.rd4u.org.uk – Support for young people after the death of someone close. Helpline: 0808 808 1677 www.itsnotyourfault.org – Practical information for young people and parents going through a family break-up www.prisonersfamilies.org.uk – Support and advice if someone you know goes into prison Helpline: 0808 808 2003 www.childline.org.uk – Free 24-hour helpline for children and young people on 0800 1111 www.samaritans.org.uk – Provide confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 08457 90 90 90

For more information on all of the issues discussed in this booklet, plus links to relevant groups and organisations, check out our website at www.essexconnexions.co.uk

Relationships

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Notes


Notes

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This leaflet is issued by Essex County Council Integrated Youth Services (IYS) For further information, advice, guidance or support you can contact us at: Connexions One Stop Shop, Basildon Tel: 01268 501300

IYS North East Area Office, Colchester Tel 01206 711170

IYS South Area Office, Basildon Tel 01268 632252

Connexions One Stop Shop, Harlow Tel: 0800 587 6013

Connexions Centre, Braintree Tel: 01376 557400

IYS West Area Office, Harlow Tel 01279 404401

Connexions One Stop Shop, Brentwood Tel: 01277 693300

Connexions Centre, Loughton Tel: 020 8532 5120

Connexions Centre, Canvey Island Tel: 01268 683067

Connexions Centre, Rayleigh Tel: 01268 749600

Connexions One Stop Shop, Chelmsford Tel: 01245 706806

Connexions Centre, Saffron Walden Tel: 01799 581670

IYS Mid Area Office, Chelmsford Tel 01245 706806 Connexions Centre, Clacton-on-Sea Tel: 01255 254300 Connexions Centre, Colchester Tel: 01206 717100

Connexions Direct Tel: 080 800 13 2 19 Text: 07766 4 13 2 19 Webchat/Email: www.connexions-direct.com

Go to: www.essexyounglife.co.uk to find out about local services and activities for young people in Essex. www.stepon.org for details of local learning opportunities. www.essexconnexions.co.uk for information on our service for young people, topics of interest and useful links. The information contained in this leaflet can be translated and/or made available in alternative format, on request. Published March 2010 CX032-03/10 Copyright Š 2010 Essex County Council. All rights reserved.


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