Information for professionals

Castlegate is funded by the City of York Council which means that, unfortunately, we can only offer a service to young people who are residents of York. If we cannot help we will signpost to an organisation that can support them.

Working with under-16s

Most information, advice and guidance for under 16s is based in schools and youth centres, and these are usually the most appropriates place for an under-16 to access support. If a young person under 16 comes to Castlegate, we make an assessment of the young person’s needs and then provide a supported referral to the appropriate agency.

Referring young people to Castlegate

Young people can call in to Castlegate during the drop-in times for information and/or support. They do not need to make an appointment and do not need to be formally referred. However, if the young adult you are working with would prefer support in accessing our services, please feel free to contact us. We would encourage you to do this when you are together. The young adult can then speak to a worker, arrange a time to meet and will then have a named worker to ask for. This process also means that all are aware of any information that is being shared. If they would like your support in accessing Castlegate please feel free to come along too.

Counselling placements

Castlegate does offer counselling placements to people undertaking Postgraduate Diploma courses which are accredited by BACP. Recruitment takes place once a year in the summer, and notification is sent to York St. John University and Leeds Metropolitan University. The placement is often advertised in the York Press Volunteer section. Interviews are held in June/July and the successful candidate is required to take an enhanced CRB check for this position.

We also require candidates to demonstrate at least two years experience of working with young people in a relevant capacity (i.e. mentoring, youth work, teaching).

Services for young people at Castlegate


The drop-in is staffed by Advice Workers. All staff are highly experienced and well trained.

Young people can be supported both practically and emotionally; for example

  • Finding out about their housing options and housing rights
  • Advice on benefits
  • Help with employment, training and education
  • Internet access for job searching, further information etc.
  • Computers for writing CVs and covering letters
  • Free discs for their Cvs and storage to keep them safe

Our computers are not linked to any social networking sites, and those people who wish to use the internet for leisure or checking e-mails might be redirected to the library.

We help our clients to work out their options and supporting them to make decisions for themselves. We will also make an assessment of their needs, so that we can ensure that they are getting the right support from Castlegate or other services.

Young people also come to talk about their relationships, feelings, their mental or emotional health, or anything else.

Sexual health services

Young people just need to drop in for

  • Free condoms (up to 24 a month): Castlegate operates a C-card scheme, whereby young people can register and receive a card with an ID number as a simple “passport” to condoms. Before they can join the scheme, a specialist worker will check that they know how to use a condom safely and what to do if things go wrong.
  • Chlamydia screening: young people can pick up a screening box at Castlegate and either follow the instructions and leave the team to post it to Yorscreen. Alternatively, they can take the kit away to complete the process elsewhere. Kits are returned to Yorscreen and they will contact the young person directly with the results.
  • Pregnancy tests: young people can have a pregnancy test there and then. This is offered in conjunction with support both before and after the test by a trained worker, plus information and/or referral or signposting to appropriate services. Counsellors are also at hand if needed.


The aim of our counselling service is to encourage good emotional health and well being in the young people of York who are 16 - 25. We do this by offering them the chance to reflect on their lives in depth, and to begin to take more control over them or to cope with them better.

Career guidance

We offer career guidance appointments for 16– to 19-year olds (and those up to 25 with special needs) who would like to spend time discussing their skills, achievements, interests, strengths and hopes for the future in order to make realistic and achievable decisions. They will discuss a range of options relating to work and learning to develop a specific career plan.

Career guidance is offered by appointment.

Survival Guide

Castlegate produces the Young People’s Survival Guide to York – a small book published annually aimed at 16- to 25-year-olds. It gives information on many appropriate subjects e.g. housing, benefits, health, education, employment, rights etc and contact details for local and national organisations.

We are able to give free Survival Guides to those people that use Castlegate but ask for an amount just to cover the cost of the printing to other organisations. If you want to be on the mailing list please contact Emma James.