P4YE Youth and Family Support beyond Lockdown

by Project 4 Youth Empowerment in Croydon, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th October 2020 we successfully raised £1,100 with 29 supporters in 42 days

To support youth who have struggled with lockdown, mental health, CCE, grooming or exploitation. To steer youth into positive lifestyles

by Project 4 Youth Empowerment in Croydon, England, United Kingdom

We are a mentoring organisation consisting of 4 Directors and 2 volunteers.  We have a wealth of experience in working with young people in fields such as education, gangs work, appropriate adult and youth mentoring.  

Our vision is to reduce knife crime, Child criminal exploitation, grooming and criminal activity in the youth we work with and provide them with genuine opportunities to channel their energies into.  We aim to provide them with the skills and confidence to become the best versions of themselves and make their families proud of them.  We work to reduce the stress and burden on parents and support them through difficult times.  Our youth engagement programme aims to reduce the number of young people ending up with criminal records or serving time in prison and instead to divert them away from criminal activity and into a more positive lifestyle.

Due to Covid there are a number of elements we would like to support youth in. Re-engagement into social settings is a major issue for some young people especially those with SEN where they require additional support.  We have been running team sessions with young people and their family members to provide them with social interraction.  One of the things we did was a weekend break for 30 young people and familes which included a variety of activities including games, team building exercises and workshops.  This allowed the young people to be themselves in a relaxed environment away from peer pressure and environmental issues such as gangs.  During this time we supported relationships between the young people and their family members, and we also encouraged relationship building between young people from different areas and postcodes. This trip was a great success and we would like to plan for similar trips and activities over the coming months.  

We meet every wednesday with young people to support them with education and employment which includes training sessions on employability skills.  We would like to be able to rent a space to add another day and carry out more sessions with young people.

We have recognised the urgent need for counselling for both young people and parents and would like to be able to provide this service alongside our mentoring service as many have been affected by Covid in one way or another whether it is bereavement or loss of employment or a young person not receiving the desired exam results to be able to transition into the next phase of their education or employment.  There are many young people suffering with PTSD having lost family members or friends to either Covid or serious youth violence and we would like to address this and offer support around these issues.

One of the things young people often say they are interested in is music and studio sessions.  We would like to be able to provide studio sessions which also involve mentoring and counselling through music.  We have a cohort of around 10 young people we feel would benefit from this project and are seeking funding to support this.

We run a parental support group and would like to be able to run regular sessions for parents either via zoom or drop in sessions in a local space we are able to access at a cost.  Parents often require support in various areas from housing to education to general parenting skills which we are able to provide.

Testimonial:  We have been working with a young person who was both a perpetrator and a victim of knife crime and was involved in gang activity.  As a result of our intervention this young man was able to access a CSCS training course and finished top of the class with a recommendation from his trainer.  He has gone on to enrolling on an apprenticeship in painting and decorating and is working as well as studying for a qualification in the field.  He is no longer involved with the gang he was previously affiliated to and has not been involved in any further criminal activity.  He is now a positive role model for his younger brother and sister and his mother is doing much better knowing her son is safe and has a more positive friend group.  P4YE continue to engage with this young man and support him where necessary and continue to support the parents with their younger teenage children.  We would like to provide counselling support for the mother of this boy who is still haunted by the images of her son having been stabbed 6 times.  Additional funding would assist us to be able to provide counselling sessions for parents like this one.

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