Do you need some advice to help you make sense of your choices? Sometimes a website can't give you all the help you need and it's useful to know where you can go to talk to someone. Your local Connexions Service is a good place to start.
What is Connexions?
Connexions is a service for all 13-19 year olds that specialises in giving Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) on a whole range of issues. Connexions can help you with decisions about courses and jobs, housing, money worries, benefits advice, your rights in law and also help with more personal issues to do with health, sex and relationships. Connexions continues to support young people with additional needs until the age of 25.
What is a Personal Adviser?
Personal Advisers (PAs) work for Connexions services and are based in a variety of settings such as schools, youth projects and community centres. Many young people have contact with Personal Advisers at school in careers lessons or careers interviews. PAs will often be present at parents evenings. However you will also meet PAs at your local Connexions centre working with unemployed young people or with specific groups of young people such as young Mums and Dads or those who have drug and alcohol problems.
How do I contact my local Connexions Service?
Many larger towns have a Connexions Centre you can visit to make an appointment with a Personal Adviser. Most Connexions services have their own websites and produce written publications for young people which you can check out to see how to make contact. Through the Connexions Direct website you can find the details of any local Connexions service in the country.
How can Connexions help me?
Some people never need to talk to Connexions. They are able to make their own decisions about the things they want to do with their life and they are lucky enough to have the support they need to help them deal with anything that comes up. However, most people will find that at some stage they do need some outside help and someone to cast a different eye on things. If you find there are things stopping you from achieving what you want it may be that a good place to start is a chat with Connexions.
Who else can help me apart from Connexions?
Most young people will turn to parents/carers, friends, teachers and other important people in their lives to help them. Research has also shown that young people like to gather a wide range of views about what they should do in certain situations so that they can weigh up the odds. Talking to Connexions shouldn't take the place of this advice, it should be seen as taking on board another point of view. Talking to Connexions could also help you make sense of all the pieces of advice you receive from everyone else!
What other websites can I check out for help?
Rather than give you a long list of websites we have tried to identify the key sites for you and linked them to My Steps. Whenever you read a section on this site there is a tab called 'Links' in which you will find the main sites associated with that topic. You will probably become familiar with some key websites such as Connexions Direct or Direct.gov.uk because these sites contain key information for young people on a range of subjects.
Will Connexions organise appointments for me?
This depends very much on what situation you find yourself in. In school not everybody will need to see Connexions so appointments will not be made for you, but you will usually be told how you can make arrangements to see your PA. For example, you may have an assembly or a lesson given by your PA then he or she tells you how to make an appointment. If you do not want your appointment in school you can always ring your local Connexions centre and they will arrange a meeting for you.
Will I receive the same help from Connexions if I don't attend school?
Connexions is there for 'all' young people aged 13-19 regardless whether you are in school or not. Connexions Personal Advisers work in the community as well as in school and whatever situation you find yourself in there will be a PA in your local area who can help you. Often the PA will seek you out - Connexions knows which young people have been excluded from school or which have been in custody for example - but if not you can always find help from your local centre or by contacting Connexions Direct.
What can Connexions do for me at 18+?
Often young adults at 18/19 want to talk to Connexions about their next stage in learning; should they continue in learning, look for a job or register for an Apprenticeship? But Connexions Personal Advisers can also refer you to other agencies that can give more specialist help to move on, for instance Jobcentre Plus and Next Steps (who give Information, Advice and Guidance to people over 18). If you have special needs, such as a learning difficulty or a physical disability, then Connexions will work with you until you are 25 to make sure you have all the support you need to progress in learning and work.
Where are the Connexions centres in Northumberland?
There are currently 3 Connexions centres in Northumberland. These are located in Berwick, Blyth and Hexham. The centres are open between one and two days per week. To find out more about your nearest centre and its opening hours call Connexions Headquarters in Blyth on 01670 798180 or email email@example.com