Displaying items by tag: Young People
Soft touch arts works with young people, using arts, media and music activities, to inspire and engage them to develop creative, social and employability skills in Leicester. For example:
- During 2011-2012 they worked with 1,131 young people, of whom 95 per cent lived in deprived neighbourhoods
- Their street-based creative engagement work has reached 850 young people in 3 years
TiPP is an organisation comprised of artists and facilitators who work with groups including young people at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, adult drug users and adult prisoners. Their projects range from half day workshops to long-term residential projects within institutions.
In addition, they have been working with the National Children's Bureau, to help promote the voices, interests and well-being of all children and young people across all aspects of their lives.
Step by Step supports young people aged between 11 and 24 years of age in Surrey, Hampshire and the surrounding area. They offer free drop-in support and advice service for young people, together with a structured, progressive accommodation service including access to emergency shelter accommodation with support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those with a high level of needs.
Created and written by a group of young scriptwriters from different parts of London, Out of the Gate aims to highlight the problems faced by young people leaving prison. It is the UK's first online audio soap opera to target a 16-24 yr old audience. Episodes are available to listen to via their website.
Learn2Listen is an organisation that operates a sponsored outreach programme to support youth engagement and community transformation.
There are various ways to help and get involved:
- Sponsor the Book
- Run a Learn2Listen sponsored event or hold a Learn2Listen party
- Sponsor a speaker to deliver their story into a youth or challenged sector
- Offer your time, services or talent
- Help spread the stories and champion Learn2Listen
- Make a donation to support the development of the brand
- Become a corporate sponsor
MALS (Mentor, Achieve, Learn, Support) Merseyside is a crime prevention programme helping young people between ages 11-19 years old. MALS offer group and one-to-one support dealing with the following issues, including:
Gun and knife crime, bullying, drugs and alcohol, and to those who have been victims of crime.
Established as a not-for-profit organisation in 2006, and becoming a registered charity in 2007, Future Skills Training (FST) works to re-engage children with the learning process through the implementation of a mixture of educational and support services. FST works specifically with young people aged between 11 and 19, who are excluded or at risk of exclusion from mainstream education, those that have offended or are at risk of offending, those who are not in education, employment or training, and those who are socially marginalised. FST, based in Wandsworth, south London, seek to empower, support, care for and give hope to all of the young people that they encounter through a range of effective and targeted group activities and projects, including mentoring, after school sports, personal and social development workshops, and tutoring. The FST team work either with small groups or on a one-to-one basis, helping to develop skills and abilities which will assist young people in growing up into mature, responsible adults. The support and encouragement provided is ongoing in order to build lasting relationships and ultimately help young people not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.
Find out more about Future Skills Training by visiting their website www.future-skills-training.org.uk
Foundation 4 Life is a consultancy which specialises in the training, consultation and delivery of behaviour modification workshops and programmes for young people between the ages of 8 and 25 who are currently offending, or considered to be at risk of offending or reoffending. Foundation 4 Life runs a training service aimed towards helping young people from a variety of backgrounds to become peer mentors in order to help other young people in need; currently, the team of professionals working at Foundation 4 Life are professionally trained and reformed ex-offenders. This unique aspect of the service offers support from those who have most likely been in a similar position or circumstance themselves. The range of services are designed to be challenging, interactive and engaging, and are underpinned by a range of learning techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which, combined with the real life experiences and knowledge of the team, aim to challenge the attitudes of participants and ultimately empower young people to make better life choices. Foundation 4 Life also regularly stage youth events which promote and reward the positive achievements of young people, as well as reinforcing the anti-gun, knife and violent crime messages to youth communities.
Visit www.foundation4life.co.uk to find out more
I was a youth worker in a variety of settings for many years.
I was trained and experienced in developing clear and safe boundaries within which to do my intensive, one to one and group work. I had a great deal of opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t with different people in different situations; management and young people alike and I had some great exposure to the best and the worst of practice and policy.
I realise on reflection that despite the many organisational and safeguarding responsibilities I had for upholding a range of ‘rules’, I actually had two of my own. I used to tell young people there were only two things they were not allowed to say to me:
‘I don’t know’ and ‘I can’t be bothered’.
These rules emerged out of my experience of talking to young people about both simple (‘what do you think about that?’, ‘what did your social worker say?’, ‘why do you think you got sent out of your lesson today?’) and more complicated issues (‘what do you want to do about that?’, ‘can you imagine how your teacher might have felt?’, ‘do you think you did yourself justice with that reaction?’) and getting the standard response to each question: ‘I don’t know.’
‘I need you to think about it because I am asking you a question’. ‘When’, I would say, ‘you say "I don’t know", what I think you are really saying is, "I don’t want to think about it" and that shuts the conversation down. You don’t have to talk to me, but if you want to, it is going to be difficult unless you engage’. Often, I would ask the question again and get an entirely different response.
So, my first rule became ‘Please don’t tell me you don’t know the answer to a question there is no simple answer to.’ Of course, sometimes we don’t actually know ‘what time is it?’ or ‘what’s for dinner’; but most open questions require some thought before an answer and my rule was an expectation for young people to think with me.
The second rule emerged out of a similar dynamic. A young person would present a situation and we would begin a Socratic dialogue about it. At some point, I would ask something like ‘why don’t you do that then?’ (not very Socratic, I admit) to which, the stock response would be given: ‘I can’t be bothered.’
For some young people, the situations and levels of responsibility upon them meant that no amount of external support from Social Services, Housing, YOT workers, Leaving Care Teams, teachers, head teachers or family members was going to be effective without a great deal of effort on the part of the young person themselves. I was often aware of the injustice of the situations faced by many of the young people with whom I worked. My job was to support the young people I worked with to develop those skills, reflect and become aware of their own abilities, capacities and potential and find the motivation to, having identified it, plan and strive to achieve it.
‘I can’t be bothered’ was never going to get us anywhere. Although I usually completely understood the sentiment; too much to do, overwhelming pressure and demands, more responsibility than imagined and often enormous odds stacked against success - I insisted on my second rule: that young people did not tell me they ‘could not be bothered.’
I worked with young people to come up with alternative answers. Often that involved breaking down the tasks ahead and making manageable plans that were do-able. We would make sure there were some immediate results we could ensure quickly, so young people could be motivated by the fruits of their labour. Each small activity led to the next and the ticks on the to do list became an aspirational device. Young people would start to make their own, more complicated to do lists as they saw themselves getting stuff done and goals being acheived. And, magically, young people became more and more bothered. They started to do things without being asked, pre-empting the list making with me and getting straight to the reflection and next planning stage.
I stopped being directly involved in face to face youth work many years ago and now work in an organisation whose programme delivery focus has, for a long time, been adults.
Recently, I was lucky enough to work with a group of adult men in HMP Wandsworth on a trial of our new programme, Man Up. Man Up is a short, intensive group work programme dealing with the cultural and social norms that impact on masculine identity.
I was invited to co-facilitate the first and last sessions of the Wandsworth trial and was very happy to do so. I have a vested interest in the programme’s development, the quality assurance of our prison based delivery teams and the impact of the new material.
The Man Up trial was a really useful opportunity to validate a lot of the work we have done on the design, pace, content and methodology of the programme. We believe the performatory element of our work contributes to not only desistance for people in prison, but to a sense of achievement, an external expression of confidence, team work, completion of a process and of sharing with others, known and unknown. We include it in all our programmes because we believe it’s part of the challenge of personal development- pushing ourselves to do the things we find hardest and doing them well, being praised for them and wanting to do them again (or at least being less scared of them for having done them before).
So, on the day of the Wandsworth presentation, Sharon, the tutor at Wandsworth took me to the mobile in the education department where we had been working all week for us to set up and wait for the group to arrive.
I walked in and welled up. The classroom was organised, tables moved away for space to perform and for an audience; seats had been arranged and, and this is what made me cry; the floor had been swept and mopped.
In terms of ‘being bothered’ that, to me, was the epitome of an outcome.
I have never been imprisoned. I have never been found guilty of a crime, been before a jury, been held in custody or subject to the kinds of regime our Prison System involves. But, I have experienced moments of finding it hard to do things. Of not wanting to make the extra effort I know I should make. Of having to do things I don’t want to do.
For a group of men in prison to work together to sweep and mop the floor of a classroom to me, signified a level of ‘being bothered’ I would never have expected.
I am bothered because I care about what I do. Because I am clear about what I want to achieve, how prepared I am to put the work in and how important it is to me that I do what I believe to be right.
If any of the people I work with are bothered enough to do the things that no one notices; to sweep and mop the floor so that other people can come in to their performance space and feel welcome and comfortable; then I can only be more bothered to keep being bothered.
Reflex work in 12 prisons, across five regions, to empower children, young people and young adults to break the cycle of offending and reoffending. Through the delivery of Outreach, accredited Non-Formal Education and through-the-gate Resettlement Mentoring, Reflex are able to help young people who are serving a custodial sentence; they work with over 3,000 young people every year in Young Offenders Institutes across England and Wales, offering opportunities to build self-esteem, develop new skills and learn to express emotions positively. Using a tried and tested methodology: 'creative reflection - positive expression', Reflex are able to assist children and young people in reflecting creatively upon their lives and positively express their hopes for the future.
Reflex's dedicated team of Outreach workers create a safe environment for young people in which they can make their voices heard, and ensure that every young person is treated with respect. This enables young people to build the confidence and conviction to take control and make their own decisions in their transition to adulthood. Young people are offered help across the five key areas of support: social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical. The delivery of education and training also enable young people to redisover a love for learning and fulfill their potential. Reflex stress the importance of holistic support, and helping young people not only whilst in custody, but also in the community following their release.
Visit the Reflex website to find out more