We provide dedicated youth work mentors to support a minimum of 60 young people aged 11-18 who are most at risk of exclusion from education, offending and anti-social behaviour – including the influence of negative peer groups and gangs, or those who are behaving in ways that require a multi agency response.
Most of the young people are identified by various partner agencies and referred through Vulnerable Children Meetings (VCM), Neighbourhood Tasking Meetings and other partner agencies which may include Police, Housing, Anti-Social Behaviour Teams, Children and Young People Department (CYPD), Schools, Health Services, Volunteer and Community Sector Organisations and other agencies working within different areas.
Parents/carers can also make referrals for their child. The support includes a 1-2-1 assessment which leads to the development of an action plan in partnership with the young person and includes a range of interventions and activities to address their behaviour.
We provide dedicated mentors to support 20 young people aged 11-25 who are involved in gangs/group offending or on the fringes of gang association. We work in partnership with Derby City Council, Derby College and Derby County Community Trust to reduce the risk of offending, reduce arrest rates by ensuring that the needs of the young people supported are addressed, ensure that the people we engage are in suitable education, training or employment, including football coaching qualifications. We are also developing a football team as a vehicle for cohesion, health and positive diversionary activities.
We support primary school children aged 10-12 at a key point in their lives – transition time – with a view to engaging them in discussions about the transitional period from Primary to Secondary School and the associated concerns and issues they may experience. We support boys and girls in Year 6 from key primary schools within Derby and provide a range of activities and more intensive support packages. Instilling positive actions and behaviour in children up to school Year 6 can contribute significantly towards preventing criminal behaviour in teenage and later years. We provide in-school support through assemblies, PHSE lessons and on a 1-2-1 basis, supporting the child with behaviour management and delivering key messages on relevant subject areas in partnership with the school.
Examples of the sorts of subject matters will include sessions around bullying, cultural differences and identity – these subjects are vitally important and are delivered in an interactive way with the aim of tackling bullying and isolation amongst young children. We also deliver a weekly after school ‘Pulse’ group session at our Community Centre where the children take part in targeted, fun activities that they themselves lead on in order to aid relaxation and promote self-esteem and individuality with a view to making the transition into secondary school a smoother and less traumatic experience.
We have a family support service to add value to our mentoring scheme by giving support to parents of children who are considered to be at risk of antisocial or offending behaviour. This includes building 1-2-1 relationships with parents, helping them to build their confidence and skills and enabling parents to support their families and achieve their goals to move forward positively.
Our family support service aims to address the holistic needs of the family in order to promote positive outcomes for the young people within it. A Family Support Worker will meet with the family and together they will formulate an action plan tailored to meet their specific needs. For example, the family might need support with accessing a variety of services such as health care services and housing amongst others.
We support parents to develop effective parenting strategies in order to influence and manage their child’s behaviour. The Handling Teenage Behaviour Parenting Programme is designed for parents/carers of young people aged 11-19 years; the primary aim is to promote positive relationships between parents / carers and their young person. The course offers a structured yet flexible approach to exploring issues that affect behaviour and relationships within families.
The programme runs for 10 weeks, once a week for 2 hours per session and enables group discussion to take place, in order to empower parents / carers by sharing their experiences and supporting each other. Where parents / carers are hesitant to access this service the programme facilitator will visit them at home to build confidence and address any barriers to engagement. We can also deliver an evening Handling Teenage Behaviour Programme for parents on court orders or those who cannot attend the programme during the day.
Delivering environmental improvements and activities to educate young people around environmental issues has become part of our core work. We believe it provides opportunities for young people to positively contribute to their community and to break down barriers between local residents and young people. This includes litter picks, skip days and clean up of hot spot areas. Working with young people and key agencies, we identify neglected sites in the community and carry out environmental activities such as litter picks, graffiti removal, painting, gardening and dog fouling campaigns. Young people are involved in all aspects of the planning and implementation along with helping to design awareness campaigns or information flyers for local residents. We also maintain these key sites, carrying out community patrols to identify overflowing bins, dog fouling, vandalism and graffiti and we report this to agencies such as Street Pride or Derby Homes where we do not have the resources to complete the required work. As part of our work on key sites, we will look at wildlife in an area and create areas to encourage wildlife, such as planting bee loving plants or bee hotels for bees and bird boxes and feeders.
We run youth club sessions twice a week from The Enthusiasm Community Centre on Cotton Lane in Derby and we have average attendances of 30 young people. Our youth clubs are a safe space for young people to have fun with their peers and keeps young people off the streets. The youth club provides positive activities and our trained youth workers are able to engage them in discussions, build trusting relationships with them and make referrals for our other services or to partner agencies.
Some of the young people go on to volunteer at the youth club e.g. leading on DJ sessions or taking responsibility for our tuck shop – some of these young people have never been trusted with anything before and this builds their confidence and self esteem which then leads to their engagement in other projects. Our youth clubs provide an opportunity to positively engage young people in the community and support and encourage them through education around key issues, such as health, independent living and the impact of antisocial behaviour (ASB) and crime.
We have a double decker mobile community bus which has been fitted with DJ decks, music making equipment, 42″ wide screen TV, Wii Console and PlayStation 3. We also have arts and crafts materials, board games, power sockets for laptop access and information from a wide range of partners. We use the bus to engage with young people and communities in hotspot locations. We are able to deliver fun activities such as discos and general youth club activities, but also workshops on relevant topics. These bus sessions enable us to build relationships with at risk young people and provide a support network. Our qualified youth workers and volunteers facilitate the sessions with the young people, according to their interests. Whilst accessing the bus young people can meet and socialise with their peers in a place of safety and warmth whilst key messages are delivered from the youth team with a view to reducing antisocial behaviour. Agencies fund us to deliver work in targeted locations on a weekly or monthly basis.