Hampshire Youth Project has been established by the Portsmouth charity, Enable Ability, since 2014 and was designed to support young people aged between 16 – 25 years living in South East Hampshire with a mild to moderate learning or physical disability or special educational need. About 20 percent of our cohort resides in the Leigh Park, Havant area.
Our monthly programme of activities are designed to encourage our young people to make friends, socialise and learn soft skills such as staying together as a group, money skills, preparing and cooking a meal, queuing and accessing public transport, as well as long-term independence skills for life, through our supported volunteering and work experience programme. All activities are supported by trained, experienced support workers.
We would like to deliver, through any fund raising received, an opportunity for our young people to further develop their volunteering and work experience programme. The young people would like to offer this via 3 options:
- Inter-generational – by visiting old people residential and nursing homes within the Havant locality, to offer entertainment to the elderly residents in the form of organising a karaoke session, playing board and other social games. This would promote positive mental health and well-being and encourage participation.
- Environmental – our young people would work in teams to litter-pick at local parks and play areas. This would promote positive well-being and encourage participation.
- Community-Based – our young people would learn skills by offering to paint fences at community buildings and schools, help support local police enforcement officers and their community team, and volunteer at community events. This would promote positive mental health and well-being and encourage participation.
Any or all three of the above suggestions would have a positive effect on not only the young person, but to the support worker and the local community itself, as well as promoting well-being, a sense of community, interaction and socialisation; let alone the improvement to all involved of increasing confidence and self-esteem.
Increasingly, Hampshire Youth Project is receiving referrals from young people in care (fostered or adopted) or in residential homes. The majority of our young people are isolated as a result of their disability, struggle to make friends or socialise and live in areas of deprivation - including Leigh Park - where they have no access to transport. We therefore arrange to pick them up so they can access our activities.
Hampshire Youth Project’s ethos is to teach them life enhancing skills which will enable them to live confident, independent lives and make friendships that will be long-lasting. Hampshire Youth Project is continuously finding better ways to offer creative activities to young people. We plan activities using the ideas that the young people have shared with us either through our feedback forms, via workshops, email or in person. We always try to be flexible in our approach to working with young people by adapting activities to suit their disability.
Hampshire Youth Project usually meets on a Saturday every week (except at Christmas) and occasionally weekdays throughout the school and college holidays.