Youth Center Work
e have defined our work around advising, supporting, counseling and guiding young people in connecting them to opportunities where they can unlock their potential and aspire to achieve some of their ambitions. All our efforts are specifically designed to work with individuals who are NEET or at risk of offending. In short, in the main, we engage with the most hard to reach young men who are vulnerable and feel excluded from the wider society and main- stream provisions.
All our programmes provide safe learning and positive environment where young people can explore and discuss issues that are of pressing concern in their day to day life. We continue to provide a service for the most vulner- able young people living in Tower Hamlets especially in Berner Estate and to involve them in the development of the Centre. There has been a continuous increase in the number of people using our services which reflects the demand and need within the community. With the onset of severe cut in government funding we have to respond to the manifold needs within a reduced financial base.
YOUTH CLUB ACTIVITIES
We have been able to sustain, on a regular basis, our evening club sessions five days a week between 6pm & 9pm which are extended to 10pm on Friday and an additional session on Saturday between 2pm & 6pm. A pool of sectional and volunteer staff work with young people aged 13-19 years. A considerable number of 1000 clients who have attended such sessions are classified as NEET’s.
In organizing the nature of activities we take into account the input from the individuals themselves and there is a regular feedback from them on the quality of our provisions. Our purpose is to offer a base for the kids themselves to work and enjoy as a group and thereby widen their experiences. They have taken a lead in the organization, planning and evaluating the overall programme. The shape and content of future portfolio of activities is derived from an assessment of what worked, what was in demand and how the content could be more effectively delivered.
This new initiative on our part was started last year. With funding from YISP we began a pilot project directed towards 8-12 year olds. As an organization BYM is firmly of the opinion that ensuring early intervention with young people can generate enthusiasm and make positive contribution to their future development. More than 30 individuals participated in the project and it became a huge success. In the coming year we are planning to extend this provision.
During the school holidays we have a well tested structured programme. This is delivered in two segments. One element caters to 13-16 year olds during the day time and another package is delivered to those aged13-19 year olds in the evening. The purpose of the day sessions is to generate a space and time solely devoted to younger individuals without any intervention from older members. Such a distinction is important to allow greater inclusiveness and creativity.
This programme is centered on the provision of coaching by qualied professional coaches from West Ham Kicks project and is intended to enhance the footballing skills of the participants. The principal aim is to facilitate the progression of individuals to a career in sports management that builds on their passion for football as a sport.
EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING
A series of workshops and training sessions were organized leading to a number of accreditated courses which saw the participation of over 100 young people. Such courses included Child Protection Training, Health & Fitness (Level 1), FA Junior Football Manger Course (JFO), SIA Security Course, First Aid, Sex Relationship Education (SRE), Princess Trust Course for Young people, LBTH V Talent programme, FA Referees Course (Level 1) etc. The central aim to ensure that they progressed to the next stage of their up skilling. In some cases the participants were able to secure sustainable paid employment.
We successfully delivered 45 day trips and 4 residential sessions. For the first time in our organisation’s history we organized a joint residential with girls and boys. Inspite of cultural sensitivity we successfully managed to pull off this mixed residential which gave the youngsters the opportunity to interact in a positive environment and ensured that they gained the national qualification AQA.