Help us keep our doors open to young people (and the lights on!)
STEP 1: VOTE FOR US - with the orange button in the top-right
If we win the popular vote in the M&S Energy Fund we will be able to replace the 300+ inefficient fluorescent light fittings that currently cost us £10,000 a year to run. This together with PIR (motion) sensors will reduce consumption by 70% - These MASSIVE SAVINGS will be redirected to front-line work with young people in need, and would enable us to sustain our popular free Homework Club, for example.
STEP 2 (optional): SUPPORT OUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN TO RAISE £8,500 FOR A TEENAGE PEER SUPPORT AND EMPLOYABILITY PROJECT
The funding we raise will enable us to deliver a new 9-month project to engage hard-to-motivate young people with the incentive of getting varied work experience and building a CV. The area we cover is an area suffering high levels of economic inactivity and child poverty.
The New Avenues Youth and Community Centre (now home to the Avenues Youth Project, a Pupil Referral Unit and a daytime service for the over 50s) was unveiled in 2002 after much fundraising by our volunteer Trustees. It replaced a smaller temporary construction from the 1970s when our charity was first established to provide opportunities for young people in this disadvantaged neighbourhood in West London.
(Above: New Avenues Youth and Community Centre, 3-7 Third Avenue, London W10)
GOING GREEN - WHY WE NEED AN ENERGY MAKEOVER
Though our building now enjoys efficient design including double glazing, it pre-dates building regulations requiring efficient lighting.
An external pro-bono energy needs audit found that an upgraded lighting system would bring the largest savings both in Co2 and in monetary terms, (more even than solar panels on the roof, which we hope will be our next project and a further step towards our goal of being off-grid and carbon neutral.)
The lighting makeover is part of a wider effort to future-proof our service. Experts have predicted that the makeover will save us approximately £5000 a year in bills and maintenance. This important reduction in our overheads takes us one step closer to financial sustainability as we embark on a new business model without public funding for youth services.
THE DIFFERENCE THE CROWDFUNDING PROJECT WILL MAKE
The youth support trainees, who will be interviewed and selected by a panel of young entrepreneurs and Youth Workers, will begin as volunteers within the Youth Project.
On completion of their first three months the trainees will be taken through a detailed performance review by their manager who will decide whether to recommend them for a 3-month paid placement in the Avenues Youth Project.
In order to ensure that the trainees are capable of working outside their comfort zone, and to be exposed to different management styles, they will complete a further three months paid work placement in a different Youth Project.
Finally, the young person will receive employability assistance, encouraging further training and eductaion if appropriate or support with CV writing and job hunting, or a referal to a specialist agency.
Successfull candidates will be drawn from across the neighbourhood which straddles three local authority areas. In so doing we aim to build relationships between young people from rival postcode areas.
While voluteering for the Avenues the trainee support workers will also facilitate sessions based around creative upcycling of clothes for fashion, jewelery, fabrics etc our gardening projects and promote awareness of reducing energy consumption, re-use and recycling within the building.
(Above: AYP members in our training kitchen with Petersham Nurseries Exec Chef!)
(Above: AYP members in our training kitchen with Petersham Nurseries Exec Chef)
(Above: Avenues Online Radio volunteer Nicole Forde recruits a new presenter!)