Swan Youth Project, Paradise Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 9JE | t. 01366 386259

engage, empower, enable

Swan Youth Project is a place where you can be yourself whatever is going on in your life.

We support young people and their families with a whole variety of needs. Getting to know our young people really well and understanding what works for them is key to all of our support.

One size does not fit all.

Open Access

Open Access is our flagship service, where young people can drop in and spend time with us without having to book a space or wait on a waiting list. We are here every week of the year to welcome young people from age 8 – 18. We work with a Trauma Informed Approach, seeing each person individually and supporting them in the best way we can

1:1 Support

We support young people on a 1:1 basis with mild/emerging mental health concerns or general well-being. If you are struggling with the every day stuff, we may be able to help.

Family Support and Young Carers

Family Support looks at the whole family holistically to find the best way to support challenging situations. We can work with both the parents/carers and the young people individually or together.

Community Liaison and Small Groups

Our Community Liaison role is all about getting out to local schools and community groups/businesses to let them know what we do and engage in positive activities. We regularly deliver assemblies and information sessions in schools and community groups across the area.

Swan Youth Project is based in a lovely old school building in Downham Market, Norfolk. We are a registered charity, no. 1143957. We support young people between  8 – 18 years of age with a variety of activities, groups and courses. We work with the ‘Trauma Informed’ approach at the heart of all we deliver, with 3 staff being Trauma Informed Practitioners. Our Open Access sessions are our core service, with everything else holistically growing from these. We listen to our young people and move forward with their input and fabulous ideas.


We work to create appropriate settings that facilitate the growth and development of the children and young people from our area and beyond.

1. We will provide a safe place for young people to spend time with their peers.
2. Provide activities that will enhance the lives of the young people whom attend the groups.
3. Provide unbiased and on the spot support and information for the young people whom attend the groups.
4. Provide educational activities to complement the work that young people are doing within their school curriculum
5. Provide health activities to support the health physical psychological and mental wellbeing of young people

The Team

Anna Foster

Project Manager and CEO

Anna has been at the centre since 2018 and has many years experience of working with young people and families both in Norfolk and Bedfordshire. She originally trained as a dance teacher and has always been focused on working within the community. She has since gained qualifications in Social Care, is a Trauma Informed Practitioner and an Assessor. She is also trained as a Family Group Conference Co-Ordinator. Anna is the project Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Sonja Fysh

Assistant Manager (Family and Youth worker)

Sonja spent many years working at then managing a local pre-school and has a Diploma in Leadership EYF and more recently has become a Trauma Informed Practitioner. She brings a calm and supportive approach to all families and young people she supports here at the centre. Sonja also assists in managing the project overall and is the deputy safeguarding lead. She has 2 teenage boys, who allow her to try out all of her own advice at home!

Rhiannon Eagle

Senior Project Youth Worker

Rhi started as a volunteer with the project and is now employed as a Senior Youth Worker. She has completed her level 3 in Youth Work and loves reading up all about the teen brain and it's amazing development..
Rhi delivers our Open Access sessions, group work and also 1:1's. She uses a 'person centred' approach in her work and is a loyal champion for young people within the town. Rhi also delivers our C-card scheme at the centre, and has added the Bike Kitchen to her growing skills!

Louise Ramsey

Community Liaison Worker and Youth Worker

Louise is our Community Liaison Worker. She is a highly experienced family practitioner with many years of community support within he roles, she has also recently become a Trauma Informed practitioner. You will find her delivering assemblies and workshops into schools and community groups, hosting events and generally gadding about the local area spreading the word of the Swan Youth Project!

Martine Halls

Bookkeeping Assistant/Administrator

Martine has joined us to cover Amy's maternity leave. She has lived in Downham for many years and has been bookkeeping in the area for the last 10 years. We are really happy to have her expertise and happy vibes in the team.

Emma Smith

Love Downham Project Coordinator

Emma brings a huge amount of enthusiasm to our project and has lots of community experience to boot! She grew up in the area and has been a local Guide leader for many years. That mixed with retail experience and an MA in textile design, means we can't wait to see how our Love Downham shop will develop.

Sarah Sheridan

SPACE Youth Worker

Sarah joins us as our SPACE youth worker. She will be in the Bike Project as well as out and about in the community alongside our policing friends and other community partners. Sarah has a real interest in teens and the teen brain. She has a Psychology Degree and is busy getting stuck into everything Swan Youth Project!

Lucy Kenna

Assistant Family and Youth Worker

Lucy previously worked in a local children's home and has a Degree in English. Our young people love seeing her in Open Access sessions where she brings huge enthusiasm and some amazing crafting skills. She supports young people 1:1 and in small groups and is our dedicated Young Carers link worker.
Lucy is in charge of the centre Hygiene Bank, making sure all the products that our young people need are there for them.

Centre Volunteers

Supporting the centre

We have a few trusty volunteers who support us with group work, paperwork and looking after the centre. All of our volunteers go through a full recruitment process and are DBS checked annually, in line with all paid staff.

James Bagge

Chair of Trustees and Patron

James was born and reared at Stradsett, West Norfolk. Sent to London to earn a living, he returned to be High Sheriff of Norfolk. Have since walked a few miles for Carers Charities. James says, 'It’s time to ensure that all young people in and around Downham have the sort of love and support I have been so lucky to enjoy.'

Thank you to our Supporters and Partners!