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Solving the surge in serious youth violence

We are pleased to announce that the Home Office has asked LifeLine to put in place some measures to counter the recent spike in youth violence. We are delighted to have the  freedom to take an early-intervention approach to this issue.
Working with four schools in Barking and Dagenham we will identify young people at risk of serious youth violence. Using innovative workshops we will work with these young people to identify the drivers and risks behind serious youth violence.
The ten most-at-risk young people in each school will receive further support through focused mentoring intervention. This will help the young people develop a vision for their lives, a true sense of identity and a purpose for their future.
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"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care"
Theodore Roosevelt

Reimagining Alternative Provision

The new school year has started and across the UK teachers are starting to feed the minds of another year's cohort of the young people who are curious and eager to learn, with a vision for their future. But...

…What about those young people who do not share the same enthusiasm for learning, those who already seem to be on a path to a future where things aren’t good? Where is the provision for the most vulnerable, those who lack positive influences or relationships, and are in danger of dropping out of education?

What might it look like?

Imagine a place – a physical space, beautiful and inspiring – which is the vibrant hub of its local community. A safe place, which never closes; a place where people want to be, where they can get help when they need it, where they can make friends and have fun, where they can develop and grow. This is a place for the whole community, offering spaces that local groups can use, a café, learning opportunities, and quick access to practical support offered by voluntary sector and statutory organisations.

Why should a place like this not be a school? And why should this not be the kind of school we want for our most vulnerable young people?

Relationship is key

At LifeLine, we have a long and successful track record of working with this group. It’s this experience that has led us to come up with a practical, strategic solution to the question of how to provide the education that they need, and the support that will address the entrenched issues that some families face. We know that what really works for these young people and enables them to flourish is positive relationships.
From our years of providing mentoring for the most disengaged young people in mainstream schools, we have evidence of the difference it makes when a young person has someone who cares about and supports them – who helps them develop a vision for their life, a sense of identity and a purpose. From our SW!TCH programme, which works with young people at risk of permanent exclusion, we know that to engage with them we also need to engage with their families. We also know how important it is to help support and develop the relationships between young people and their parents.
Relationship is key - between staff and young people, mentors and young people and with a young person's parents.
An effective way to do this is through after-school clubs where families can take part in enjoyable activities together. But the catch is that many parents aren’t available in the hours immediately after school – they need something later in the evening, which schools often can’t provide.

Schools aren’t usually open late into the evening – but youth centres are. In fact, what we currently have are schools that are empty in the evenings, and youth centres that are largely deserted in the daytime. This makes no sense. What does make sense is to combine not only the physical facilities, but the expertise of the staff who work in each. So in our vision for re-imagining alternative provision, youth workers will be available during daytimes, and able to develop the relationships with the young people that will encourage them to engage with the evening activities. And because these happen later, parents will be able to get involved too.

LifeLine's vision for school

Our vision is of a 24-7 service for parents and young people who in the past might not have wanted to be in school even for a minute. From breakfast clubs through to youth activities and weekend sports programmes, it is a place where young people want to be; a place where they are made to feel valued, and so come to see themselves as people with value to society – with something to give back. It is a place that restores and builds relationships and, ultimately, builds a better future.
Copyright © 2018 Lifeline Projects, All rights reserved.

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