Young Devon, a charity based in Ivybridge that helps to support young people across Devon, have been raising awareness for the youngsters that have been struggling this winter.

Andrew Moreman, chief executive of Young Devon, appeared on BBC Radio Devon last week to highlight the work they’ve been doing to help young people this Christmas time.

Andrew highlighted how Christmas, although meant to be a positive and comforting time of year, can be very difficult for many. He said, “For some young people Christmas just brings more worry and more dread and the sad possibility that they might be alone.”

Andrew went on to talk about the work the charity been doing to support hundreds of young people that may be at risk of homelessness, struggling with their mental health, or need support with skills, education, and getting ready for work.

Young Devon cover a variety of bases to help young people to grow and thrive in Devon, with a goal to “make Devon a better place for all young people”. The charity works with over 2,000 young people, creating relationships to help them thrive.

They provide accommodation for over 100 young people a night who are experiencing homelessness, and organise activities and conversations to support those struggling with their mental health.

Talking to BBC Radio Devon presenter Pippa Quelch, Andrew discussed how the numbers of young people needing help are increasing dramatically, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. He explained that his business has grown by 200 per cent in the last two years, which he described as a “heartbreaking” statistic.

This Christmas, the charity have been running a programme called ‘Operation elf’, which encourages people to be elves and do some fundraising for the charity, with has seen people rally around in local communities to find innovative ways to raise money. From selling knitted goods at local fairs, to running 10ks every day, the elves have been hard at work helping to raise some money.

The charity said of the scheme: “By making Young Devon your ‘little bit to help others’ this Christmas you are supporting us to find new ways to help young people experience a better Christmas.”

The charity hopes to continue their fundraising into the New Year, with plans to continue aiding young people in Devon. Last year they organised their Run Devon ‘ultra marathon’ event in the summer, and hope to run this popular event again.

The charity said of the work they do: “Young Devon is a young people’s charity in the South West of England. We have been supporting young people since 1949; making Devon a better place for all young people, by reducing disadvantage and improving opportunity.

“Young Devon helps young people get support with their mental health and wellbeing, build life skills, get their voice heard, grow in confidence, find safe accommodation and develop into happy, independent adults.

“Every week, we help hundreds of local young people in need.  Young people can access Young Devon services in Exeter, Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Barnstaple, Ivybridge, Tavistock, Okehampton and Ilfracombe as well as via outreach workers in the more rurally isolated communities.”

The charity reminded the elves that have been hard at work to “tag Young Devon’s social media accounts, and use the hashtag #OperationElf2022 when uploading any updates about your mission!”

To find out more, or get involved with the charity, you can visit