Diversity Living Services (DLS) is a registered charity that aims to promote equality & diversity by supporting Diversity Communities, particularly Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Communities in accessing services and opportunities through advice, training, advocacy, participation and engagement with mainstream services. The charity supports the capacity of young people by building on their skills and aptitudes for their own personal growth and their community’s long-term success and development.
Recent funding cuts have affected the services provided by the voluntary sector to many disadvantaged people including young people. The consequence of these cuts has been a very real danger that the complex needs of vulnerable Young People, many being the hardest to reach, were disproportionally affected. Many youth centres and advice services have closed down or are not operational in their full capacity. Media reports say that two people stabbed to death within 40 minutes in London. The majority of these stabbings involve young people.
Youth charities believe that knife crime is partly caused by a lack of local youth club providing a safe place to meet and that council spending on youth services has fallen by more across England and Wales.
In Enfield, a weekend in November 2018 saw four men hospitalised with stab wounds, a day after two men and a teenager were shot. These incidents are not unusual here. Our ward, Edmonton Green and surrounding catchment area host more than a third of gang-linked offences, with almost 40% of knife, gun and other weapon injuries attended by the London Ambulance Service in Enfield. Edmonton Green and Upper Edmonton wards both rank in the 25 highest London wards for such injuries alongside neighbouring wards in Haringey. The 39.7% increase in knife injuries Enfield compares to a 6.2% increase in London as a whole. (Enfield Tackling Gangs and Serious Youth Violence Strategy 2015-2017 Metropolitan Police.) In 2011 over 400 people marched through Edmonton to make a stand against gun and knife crime
Young People’s needs
The findings of the recent survey carried by DLS among Young People show that many of those asked feel there is a lack of facilities and activities for young people. There were a range of suggestions for ways to address this need but the strongest was for a meeting place, drop‐in centre or youth facility. Interest was also expressed in improved access skills training, work experience, support and advice. Our consultations with young people clearly show that there is an immediate demand from young people for a place to go, to meet friends where they can feel comfortable and accepted. Various research findings have confirmed that the rate of unemployment amongst BAME young people in London is higher than the national average. Young people have told us which services they want: A safe place to meet, to socialise with peers in a supportive environment with the support of adult mentors, and an advocacy service to allow them to voice their needs and to be taken seriously.
The problems that young people face include:
- Unemployment rates amongst young people are higher than the local or national average.
- Lack of education and low income leading to increased health issues due to poor diets and lack of understanding of preventative measures.
- Feelings of isolation with few friends or mentors.
- Lack of facilities, services, activities, reduced choice of services and opportunities, fewer work opportunities and less educational and training options.
- A lack of social provision that creates a culture of anti-social behaviour together with an increasing misuse of alcohol and drugs.
What the funds will be used for?
The donations we are requesting will be used to create a dedicated youth centre to serve young people in the London Borough of Enfield and neighbouring areas of North London. The Youth Centre aims to:
- Provide services and facilities that address the needs of young people in London.
- Work directly with young people by assessing their needs and providing an agreed programme of activities designed to meet those needs.
- Support young people in their understanding of risks and challenges and in taking action to address key issues in their lives.
- Establish contact with, listen to, befriend, advise, support and act as an advocate for young people.
Promote young people’s talents and skills through training and advice, and help them have access to sports, arts, and employment opportunities.
The centre will provide a range of activities and services to young people, particularly:
A helpline and drop‐in service that
- Provides a holistic service, to help young people deal with and address multiple issues and challenges they experience
- Provides advice and access to services and support in relation to crime prevention, drug and alcohol misuses, training and educational opportunities
- Provides regular open drop‐in sessions for young people with a safe place to meet and engage in creative and social activities.
Training sessions will be organised to boost self‐confidence, increase employability and life skills in areas such as job seeking skills, self-confidence building, literacy and numeracy skills, communications skills, adopting a healthy lifestyle, employability skills and assistance with job seeking and further training.
The project will connect young people to role models to increase self-confidence, learns and motivation.
Support for access to the labour market
This service will cover guidance on CV preparation, help with application forms, Interview techniques, access to the latest vacancies and job search resources, advice on local training opportunities and free access to computers and learning materials.
Project target groups
- Young people aged 16‐25 not engaged in education, training and employment
- 14‐16 year olds who struggle with mainstream education
- School leavers aged 16‐19 with low prospects of employment or further education
- Disadvantaged young people aged 13 to 25 who come from deprived backgrounds in London Borough of Enfield and the surrounding areas.
- Referrals from schools, training agencies, the youth justice system and Council Youth Services
- Running costs of established
- New staff posts created (Youth Support Worker), an admin Assistant and an outreach youth worker
- 20 young people per week attending the youth centre
- 12 training workshops are organised for 20 young people each
- 4 youth events held ( job fairs and art fairs)
- New voluntary run youth clubs established
- 10 local volunteers recruited to run youth clubs
The funding that we are requesting will achieve the following outcomes:
- More young people attending the youth centre have the skills and confidence to move on to and sustain full‐time training and work placements.
- Young people attending Youth Centre are able to experience new activities that assist in expanding their skills, aspirations and self‐motivation.
- Young people have access to a range of volunteering opportunities for young people
- Reduced offending, re-offending and anti-social behaviour
- Increased number of young people volunteers
- 80% of young people attending the youth centre have secured paid jobs or have enrolled in mainstream education.
Project Location: Edmonton Green, London N9 0TZ
Project Duration: 12 months
Diversity Living Services
54-56 The Market Square
Edmonton Green, London
Charity No:1098916; Company No:4459816