The Empathy Project

Young people in Hertfordshire are preparing to take part in an innovative new project to give emotional support to other young people in times of difficulty, thanks to the Empathy Project.

Young people in Hertfordshire are taking part in an innovative new project, as community navigators able to administer social prescriptions and give emotional support to other young people in times of difficulty, thanks to the Empathy Project. It is a YC Hertfordshire initiative in collaboration with the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and East and North Herts NHS Trust.   

Over 50 volunteers aged 17 to 21, will be recruited to the initiative.   

The young people are given extensive training before being deployed to support their peers, providing emotional support to young people in care, as well as to young people, children and families (where appropriate) who attend children’s A&E in Watford General Hospital and Lister Hospital, Stevenage.

Empathy Project volunteers aim to make patients feel better supported whilst in A&E, so that they leave with a clearer idea of the support and activities available to them in their community. 

The project continues to welcome applications from young people.  Those who are considering a career in health or social care would be particularly suitable for this project. Please note all applicants must attend an interview and will undergo a DBS (police) check.

Once selected, volunteers will complete training, receiving certificates in:

  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Royal Society for Public Health Emotional wellbeing
  • Safeguarding
  • SafeTalk (suicide prevention) training 

Volunteers will work in pairs in A&E and will be supervised and chaperoned at all times by one of our youth workers. This is a unique volunteering opportunity and volunteers must be 17 or turn 17 by the end of December 2017.

To apply, or if you have any further questions or would like to know more about this project, please get in touch with Project Co-Ordinator, Debi Roberts at: debi.roberts@hertfordshire.gov.uk