Positivity Breeds Possibility 2021

As part of our 21 in 21 celebration to mark the 21st birthday of LifeLine Projects, we'll be hosting a selection of different events throughout the year. We kicked this off on 5th March with Positivity Breeds Possibility 2021 #PBP2021, a free online event for young people that featured live performances of rap, gospel, and spoken word, plus educational content on mental health. This amazing event was co-created by our young SW!TCH Ambassadors, who were responsible for coordinating the event and the performances, as well as handling the art and design. The event was supported by the SW!TCH Minds team…

Building relationships across communities

The Creative English programme meets a real need in communities around the country. It’s a great tool for building relationships across the community and gives people a sense of belonging. Anyone of any age can come to a Creative English class to improve their confidence in speaking English. The classes have a fun and relaxed atmosphere that puts people at ease. Many people who take part have been in the UK for a long time but been unable to access local services due to lack of English speaking skills. One Creative English tutor said, The local community benefits as people…

Gaining the skills and confidence to find employment

Roman came to LifeLine to update her computer and English skills so that she could return to work. Through LifeLine’s programme of learning and job support, she was able to get a job at a creche. Roman said, "I’d like to thank you for helping me get this job. I am enjoying it very much and feel so happy. Even my family see the difference in me - they say they haven’t seen me so happy in a long time." Jon Cruddas MP visits LifeLine's training centre. Bernard works as a Station Officer at Kings Cross Station and says that…

LifeLine is 21 in 2021: Help us plan our coming of age!

LifeLine Projects was founded 21 years ago, when a group of volunteers recognised a need in their community. Wanting to be part of the solution, they began supporting isolated and marginalised women in the areaand vulnerable young people in local schools. Back then, we were just two people working part-time; now, we employ over 70 staff and work locally, regionally and nationally. Throughout our history, we've worked with many different partners to deliver a range of programmes funded by the public sector. And we've won several (and been short-listed for many more) awards that recognise the true value that these…

Changing course with SW!TCH

Names have been changed to protect those involved. Samuel first came to us by a referral from a Local Authority Community Safety Team. He had been involved in numerous incidents in the borough and had built quite a reputation for fighting and violent outbursts. Around the same time, we received a referral for Joshua, another young person in the same borough. We quickly learned that he had a history with Samuel - an altercation between the two had ended in Samuel assaulting the boy's girlfriend. And then we learned of his response: he had arranged for a member of a…

Mentoring: the impact of valuing young people

Josh joined SW!TCH Expeditions [one of our previous alternative education provisions] and was assigned a one-to-one mentor by the name of Adam. Josh had a history of mental health issues, struggled to control his temper, and was prone to using abusive language. The SW!TCH team set out on a mission to build his confidence - Adam offered to take him away on a camping trip along with a handful of other students and mentors. During the trip, his mentor deliberately chose to focus on positive efforts that Josh was making and less on the issues he faced. At one point…

A 13 year journey: from beneficiary to volunteer to team member

Our Redbridge Champion Support Co-ordinator, Acia, first encountered LifeLine Projects as beneficiary, then as a volunteer, and now we’re delighted she’s joined the staff team on our exciting initiative to support parents and carers of 11-24 year-olds in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham. My first contact with LifeLine was in December 2006 or January 2007. I had moved to the area in 2006. I didn’t know anyone when I arrived and I didn’t have any GCSES or previous experience of work. When I dropped the kids to school, I saw the Lifeline Job Shop. I could see some computers…

LifeLine receives new funding to support young people across East London

We are delighted to announce that we have secured a new project from the National Lottery Community Fund that enables us to extend our support to vulnerable young people and families in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Thurrock and Tower Hamlets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding allows us to employ two full-time Outreach Development Workers to assist vulnerable young people who are on the cusp of serious youth violence, who are at risk of criminal exploitation, who are engaging in criminality and gang activity, who are not in employment, education, or training, or who are experiencing mental…

Champions Support Network for parents and carers

During Lockdown 1.0, we developed our support to parents, with new initiatives like our remote one-to-one support sessions for parents and an online parent support group to help and encourage parents as they faced the challenges of parenting through lockdown together. On the back of this, in December, we were excited to see the launch of our exciting new initiative for parents and carers with children aged 11 to 24, the Champions Support Network. Funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), the Champions Support Network is part of the Violence Reduction Unit's strategy to develop resilient families,…

Assessing Primary Care During the Pandemic and Beyond

We have all had to adapt the way we work and deliver services for the safety of staff, volunteers, and the public. The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things, but particularly the ways that health and care are being provided. New ways of working have provided opportunities to be innovative in the way services are delivered, yet these opportunities have also come hand-in-hand with various challenges and barriers, faced by both health professionals and those accessing services. The ‘clap for the NHS’ was one way for the public to show their appreciation to the staff who have worked amazingly hard…

Supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace

Why should employers care about mental health? The World Health Organisation defines mental health as "A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and make a  contribution to their community." Work contributes a great deal in our mental health and wellbeing. The Royal College of Psychiatrists claims that work is central to many people's happiness, as it provides not only the money we need to live, but also social interaction and support, as well as keeping us physically and mentally active. Through work, we develop new…

COVID-19 might threaten, but vigilance and creativity answer!

"My child started at Little Learners Nursery in August (2020), and I couldn’t be happier with how she’s settled in. The staff are so welcoming and helpful. They provide photos, written updates and development updates through the day and it’s easily accessible through the [Tapestry™] app*. I would highly recommend this nursery" It's been quite a roller coaster ride since we re-opened nursery on 1st July. It’s funny how a situation that none of us would wish for can actually provoke creative ideas that result in children quickly becoming super happy and able to enjoy learning through play at nursery…