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In 1974 a group of Lewisham residents were frustrated by the fact that a few of the young people in their neighbourhood were becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and getting into trouble with the police; stealing motorbikes was a big problem.
The residents knew that this behaviour was lagely because the young people had nothing to do. It was then that one of the residents came across a project in Birmingham that had set up a workshop for young people so that, instead of stealing motorbikes, they would do them up. Together the local residents turned one of their garages into a small workshop and encouraged the local youths to come along and learn the basics of mechanics. The Young Lewisham Project was born.
The Young Lewisham Project offers a wide range of supportive alternative vocational programmes to young people who may not be achieving in mainstream education. We deliver projects, activities and trips during term time and over the weekend, although we do not replace statutory provision.
Programmes take place each week on our site in our workshops, activities include motorbike mechanics & bicycle maintenance, woodwork, furniture restoration and upcycling, art and crafts, gardening and allotment work and cooking. Residential trips and off site activities also take place throughout the year. We work with up to 200 young people each year who are referred by partner agencies.
People at The Young Lewisham Project are encouraged to access other programmes and local services and to progress on to other courses within the project or to further education and work placements. Several of our young volunteers who themselves attended the project have become paid employees here or with other local youth service providers.
We have a strong track record of working with schools, Social Services, the Leaving Care Team, the Youth Offending Team, the Youth Service, special needs schools and projects, the Road Safety Team, environment and allotment groups. We are committed to partnership and collaboration work.