RevolYOUtion – YMCA Thames Gateway

RevolYOUtion London is a self-help project enabling young people aged 14 to 25 years to debate, engage and inspire each other using a range of platforms to explore issues that affect young people living in Woolwich.

Examples of engagement includes, monthly debates, free access to revision books, advice and guidance on Further Education, peer mentoring and providing Christmas hampers for young mums.

The project is currently working in partnership with YMCA Thames Gateway to deliver the Aspire Project for Girls at Plumstead Manor Girls School, for those excelling at sports but not in other academic areas or youth activity. RevolYOUtion deliver the 1:1 mentoring aspect of the project; meeting students, looking at challenges, setting goals and offering advice and support.

RevolYOUtion offers young people a platform to air their views and feed into the agendas that are topical, such as homelessness, young parents, knife crime and gang culture.

The area is currently seeing a rise in gang related violence and the group is reaching out to some of the young people at risk of involvement.

By having an open door policy young people are able to engage and feel equal to their peers.  It also gives them the opportunity to participate in activities where they have set the agenda.

The group’s interactions with young people have been effective; the members are all local, similar in age and understand the challenges that young people face living in the area.

Families Team – YMCA Norfolk

We work to reunify families, preventing family breakdown and children entering the care system.

Last year we worked with over 77 families, all with positive outcomes ranging from prevention of care proceedings, reunification, increased independence from other services, reduced level of need, reduction in family stress / pressure points and improvement in physical environment.

We provide adoption support, therapy and counselling in ways that meet the needs of families and young people. For example, parenting and therapy sessions are tailored in a meaningful and practical way for families, such as in their homes or therapy in spaces that work and feel comfortable as opposed to a clinic or office. We also use physical activities, including climbing, canoeing and biking, to engage young people.

We run a ‘Time Out’ project to engage young people in sustainable positive activities, promoting communication, team work, risk assessment and planning, in order to support engagement in education, training and employment. We work within schools across county, delivering play therapy, family support work, 121 work with children, plus group work, parenting groups, mental health first aid, work on exam stress, body image and self-esteem.

In addition, we respond to family emergencies seven days a week and are able to take out of hours referrals from children’s services to deal with crisis. 99% of those referred were able to remain in the family home with parents and avoid care proceedings.

Young Carers Time 4 Me Project – YMCA Cardiff

The Time 4 Me project works with young carers and young adult carers aged seven to 25 years old and their families across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The project provides respite opportunities for young carers to reduce their isolation, make new friends and have fun. It is young person led, co-productive and relevant to young carer needs.

Our young carers developed PAVE (Providing a Voice for everyone), which is a young carers’ forum that enables them to have a voice on issues that affect them, and to raise awareness of young carer’s issues generally. One recent achievement for PAVE was a recent showcase they organised and held at the Senedd to celebrate the work they do. This was sponsored by Bethan Jenkins AM and as a result of this showcase, proposals were put forward at the Welsh Assembly.

The project also raises awareness of young carers and the issues they face to other organisations, schools and young people in order to identify and support them and their families. It also works closely with youth groups, schools, children’s services, Team around the Family, safeguarding leads and GPs in order to identify Young Carers as early as possible. Some young carers can be ‘hidden’ and not want to be identified for fear of stigma and bullying, but through raising awareness it is hoped this will reduce.

Youth Matters Awards categories