The Power House Youth Project

by Alix Digby-West in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom

£20

raised so far

+ est. £5.00 Gift Aid

1

supporters

To provide safe spaces for young people to re-socialise, engage in meaningful activities, and improve wellbeing following pandemic lockdown

by Alix Digby-West in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 17th December 2021 we'd raised £20 with 1 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Following a successful Pilot Programme to launch The Power House's Youth Project by supporting young people through the pandemic, we are looking for funding to continue our Friday Night Youth Space, and grow our programme of activities and start Youth Volunteering in Poole. 

Your donation will fund two paid posts, grow our volunteer base, and enable us to hold more activities including water paddling activities with Poole Harbour Canoe Club. 

Ensuring our young people have a safe community to develop through giving them positive role models and peer support, improve their wellbeing, and grow their skills and citizenship. 

CONTEXT: 

Hamworthy in Poole, Dorset has no open access youth provision with young people in the 2018 Poole Youth Conversation, asking for safe spaces to hang out and support with their wellbeing and family relationships. In the 2011 Census, there were 1,272 young people aged 10-17 living in Hamworthy East and West Wards - now one Ward. Both Wards were the 5th and 2nd most deprived wards in Poole respectively. 

Hamworthy itself has a mixed demographic with pockets of deprivation mixed with affluence, with LSOA's in the worst 20% and 30% nationally of multiple deprivation.  

Cornerstone Academy, Hamworthy's Secondary School, has just over 400 students, taking young people from Poole Town and across Poole Borough. Hamworthy's young people also attend Poole High and Lytchett Minster Schools. 

Following pandemic lockdown, more than ever our young people need support to relearn social skills, and connect with peers in mixed year groups, while needing more support with wellbeing and the opportunity to talk openly in a pandemic. Support especially with anxiety is needed, and activities that help them grow in confidence, find their identity and purpose. Anxiety and depression were voiced by the Young People who led Poole's Youth Conversation as being prevalent and needing more support. The Power House team are also aware of many young people in the community struggling, and many have voiced their difficulties with increased anxiety and fear of the future especially. 

Young people have missed out on socialising with peers from other year groups due to Covid Social Bubbles. Mixing with older and younger peers is key for development and observed challenges have been seen.

The Power House was unable to access funding during the COVID-19 response phase, however our Youth Project was successful with National Lottery + HM Government Coronavirus Community Support Fund. We are finding it difficult to access funding from national charitable trusts and funders in this pandemic climate. Our application to our Local Authority's Bounce Back funding was not successful due to a competitive business market. 

CONSULTATION: 

The Power House Youth Project was at the heart of our foundation, and one of the main focuses, to fill the gaps in youth provision, both for wellbeing support and meaningful activities to engage in. One of our Founder's experience working with lone parent families showed there was much need for youth mentoring and wholesome role models for the growing number of teenagers growing up in broken homes, estranged from fathers (mostly) and grandparents. Another Founder works in the community from his care of young people's wellbeing wanted to address the growing need in Poole for meaningful youth activities to support their wellbeing. A third Founder is a Community Artist and has much experience with and a care for young people's wellbeing, seeing their need through her work. 

Our Founders engaged in the Poole Youth Conversation. We will provide a safe space to be, provide a programme of activities, and offer volunteering opportunities in The Power House, and the wider community. All our youth provision is to grow young people's confidence, social skills, work related skills, while empowering them to discover their true potential and hidden talents and interests to widen their horizons. 

From 2018 to 2020, The Power House Youth Steering Group engaged with Carter Community School (now Cornerstone Academy) and listened to the young people to find out what they needed and wanted. A range of sporting and non-sporting activities were requested. 

Lytchett Minster School's Head has concerns about the growing need for young people to have safe spaces and support with their mental health, as more and more of their students struggle with anxiety and depression. And that was before the pandemic.  

While there is a strong focus on wellbeing through sports, not all young people can or want to access sports and have other interests and hobbies they want to engage in. The Power House will include these activities as part of our Youth Programme as it develops and builds.  

Hamworthy used to have a youth club building, however, this was replaced by a larger library, and most young people don't want to go to the library. There are no places indoors for them to go safely. There is a problem with anti-social behaviour in Poole Town and Hamworthy, and many young people avoid going to Poole Town because of this. If they do go and hang out in Poole Town, there is a misconception about them from the wider community. 

  

PILOT PROGRAMME:

Thanks to Coronavirus Support funding we were able to employ a Youth Project Coordinator and delivered a pilot programme in response to our community consultation and links with our local Secondary School. 

Youth Panel: For Young People to shape the youth activities in Hamworthy and Poole. This started on Zoom and then moved to working with a group of students in school. 

Youth Space: A safe space for young people to hang out, and relearn socialisation skills. Particularly focusing on supporting their wellbeing, while providing activities they want to take part in. We now have an average 14 young people attending Youth Space. Initially starting in Hamworthy Liberal Club, once hospitality opened and Covid restrictions lifted we moved to St Michael's Church.  

Holiday Sports Sessions: Football and/or tennis sessions in Easter and Summer holidays. These have proved popular as young people need activities in the holidays. Our coach and Youth Project coordinator have encouraged and supported socialisation, promoting thoughtfulness and empathy for others, and reining in unkind behaviour, while affirming the young people and growing their confidence.   

NEXT STEPS: 

Our first phase of activity has been received well, with a growing number of young people coming to both the Friday Night Youth Space and Holiday Sessions. An average of 10-14 young people, boys and girls aged 11-15 attend each week, with new young people joining continually. Some are needing extra support due to personal circumstances or educational needs. 

We are now looking for funding to employ a Youth Project Coordinator in a permanent position to ensure the young people in our community have a consistent provision of support and activity while growing the number of young people we can reach. 

As well as this Crowdfunder being a springboard to access other Charitable Trust Funds to employ for more than a year, your donation will enable The Power House (TPH) to: 

- continue to run the Friday Night Youth Space, develop the activities within these sessions to improve the young people's wellbeing and enable their aspirations to be realised. 

- pay a second sessional worker to ensure the session can run each week within Safeguarding protocols. We have had to cancel sessions last minute due to last minute volunteer cancellations and we want to ensure the young people have consistency and secure the Friday Night session  

- grow our Youth Volunteering Team and link volunteers into relevant training schemes through Community Action Network. 

- work with community partners to establish a Youth Citizenship programme, and provide Youth Volunteering opportunities - including intergenerational activities to grow a stronger community.

- hold monthly extra sessions to offer more activities. They love the skittles in Hamworthy Liberal Club! 

- grow youth activities as we set up our Interim Facility within the year.   

- set up canoeing/kayaking sessions working with Poole Harbour Canoe Club. Water sports are known to improve wellbeing. Hamworthy resident and PHCC Trustee leads sessions for their Juniors and is looking to grow the number of young people accessing paddle activities. 

- inspire the youth to identify key community needs and grow Youth Social Enterprise initiatives. 

- build to an end vision of setting up a Youth Café for young people to serve members of the community and grow skills and work experience, while fostering community wide wellbeing through mutually supportive friendships and intergenerational relationships. 

ACTIVITIES:

Nearly all the young people accessing our sessions struggling with anxiety and other issues.   

- Arts Wellbeing Sessions: TPH Community Artist has developed an programme of playful arts mixed with relaxation and mindfulness movements and techniques.  

- Two Artists who exhibited in The Power House's Celebrating the Old, Inspiring the New Exhibition at Lighthouse, Poole are working to develop an arts project within our Youth Space. They will link with four young people and engage with them to grow their identity and create portraits celebrating them. 

- Music, History, and Environment: Young people attending have expressed an interest in these areas, and we will bring in people to lead activities and give inspirational talks. 

- Climbing and Canoeing: TPH will link with local community organisations to provide activities outside of Youth Space that young people have asked for. A link with Poole Harbour Canoe Club has been made, and we are looking at how we can partner. 

- Skittles: Hamworthy Liberal Club have a skittle alley and whenever we have held either community or youth skittles sessions, it is a complete success. Young people are asking for more sessions. We would hold occasional sessions depending on what's happening at the club and the Members' Bar. 

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Digital Thank You Postcard made by our Young People + Name on Cloud Art

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Digital Thank You Postcard made by our Young People

£30 or more

£30 Reward

Digital Thank You Postcard made by our Young People + Name on Cloud Art + Seed Bombs made by our Young People

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