Why can’t some areas attract funding to support young people?

Over the past 20 years, LifeLine has been working with local people in a range of settings. We began in outer London boroughs with statistics you'd be more likely to find in inner London. Now we have reach across east London and we're spreading out to the rest of the capital and, through the FaithAction network, across the country too. One thing we've recognised from our time in London – and it’s just as true throughout the country – is that certain areas end up being much more attractive for funders to invest in than others. It's not even uncommon…

Welcoming back our Little Learners to nursery

We proud to say that our two Little Learners nurseries re-opened at the start of July following the easing of lockdown. And our outstanding teams have been working hard to ensure that measures are in place to keep your little ones safe. Both our sites – found in Elm Park and Ilford – are running ongoing safety measures, with regular deep-cleaning and disinfecting of fixtures and fittings. Both nurseries now have social distance markings for parents, and children are restricted to small consistent groups to reduce the risk of infection. Plus, all our staff are dedicated to providing the same…

On parenting and the Ghanian diaspora

Eugene On the evening of Sunday, 21st June, LifeLine Projects held an online gathering for parents from the Ghanaian diaspora. We had around 35 parents on the Zoom call, mainly from communities across London, but also a few from further abroad, including the USA, Canada, and Ghana itself. The idea for this event grew from discussions I had with LifeLine's CEO Nathan about support for young people in the local Ghanian community, which I myself belong to. We saw a great need there, with many of our local young people being at risk of gangs and youth violence. I was…

How we’re looking after ourselves in lockdown

We're still potentially a long way from returning to our previous way of life, and it's crucial that we stay healthly - both physically and mentally - during this trying time. We've asked our teams to let us know what they've being doing to look after themselves during lockdown. I like to go outside, walk around, and experience nature. It's been amazing to see the countryside regularly and it's helped give me a sense of normality during this strange time. And while I'm out, I've been listening to music more, catching up with people over the phone, and taking loads…

What we’ve learnt from lockdown

Lifeline's youth work team—collectively known as SW!TCH—works with young people who are at risk of being excluded from mainstream schooling, of having poor mental health, or of being involved in Serious Youth Violence. Traditionally, this takes place both in schools through mentoring and in the community through a programme of positive activities. However, in this 'new normal', schools have been closed and social distancing makes most communal activities unsustainable. But, like we heard last time, our team aren't content to just sit back and wait for lockdown to end – we've been working hard to come up with new ways…

Our tips for outreach and detached work

Daniel Chery, one of the managers of our SW!TCH team, has pulled together his top tips for outreach and detached working. Always work in pairs Ensure you have a current and updated risk assessment Dynamically assess a situation before approaching young people in groups Communicate with the police and local authority to identify hotspots Make sure your team co-ordinate with other providers and share insights – joined-up working is vital Carry around a toolkit for improptu activities, e.g. footballs, rounder equipment, Frisbees, cones, bibs, first aid kit, whistle, PPE, etc. Bring the youthwork and activities to where the young people…

Youth work: averting an oncoming crisis

As we pass our 90th day in lockdown and the government has started to ease restrictions, our youth team – still out and about supporting young people – have started to observe a growing number of young people back out on the streets, along with a general lack of proper social distancing in general. After twelve weeks being stuck indoors, these young people are suddenly finding themselves under less supervision – parents are starting to return to work, but schools have not reopened yet. And we're worried that, after such a long period of boredom, they may turn to less…

ESF 2019-23 Round 3 Funding Opportunity: Gang Prevention

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from organisations to join with us on the following project: This project will support young people who are on the trajectory of serious offending in gangs. It will focus on improving engagement with education and increasing employability, as well as tackling family factors through close work with other support services. The Project will support Participants whilst they are in Alternative Provision, in positive structured activities at other times, and in future education, employment and training (EET) activities for at least eighteen months. This Project will run from Autumn 2020 to June 2023. Key…

Fighting loneliness in lockdown

We approach the end of our second month in lockdown, and maybe the end is now in sight. However, the road back to our old way of working is still a long one, and many restrictions will still have to be in place even after the current lockdown has lifted. One key issue we've been encountering across all our services during this time is of isolation and loneliness. This is, of course, not a new issue by any means – but the restrictions placed on us by 'social distancing' has amplified the impact of loneliness a hundredfold. Many in our…

FaithAction: Loneliness and the power of relationships

Our FaithAction team—a network supporting faith-based and community organisations across the country, hosted by LifeLine Projects—have produced a lot of research around loneliness and isolation in the past year. With the current lockdown situation bringing this issue to the forefront, Jeremy, FaithAction's Policy and Programme Officer, explores some of the ways we can respond to the growing tide of loneliness. Imagine the classic ice-breaker scenario: if you had to leave your house immediately, and could only take one thing with you, what would it be? Emergency situations, whether real or imagined, have a way of bringing things into sharp focus.…

BD CAN: Support and befriending for Barking and Dagenham

BD CAN is a partnership between the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and BD Collective. LifeLine Projects are leading on delivering crucial services to residents of the Valence and Becontree wards, working with the support of LifeLine Church, Harmony Christian Centre, Bethel Christian Centre and Community Resources. As a locality, we have already helped over 100 households. Manisha, who is coordinating our work with BD CAN, gives us an update on the project. BD CAN provides a service to those who need support – this can be picking up medication, going shopping for food, charging electric keys, or just…

SW!TCH Minds: Engaging young people in new settings

Georgia, one of our Youth Workers, explains a bit about our SW!TCH Minds programme, supporting young people with their mental health. Usually, our team would be working with them both during and after schools; now, due to the lockdown, we've taken the opportunity to switch up our methods and reach out to them in new settings. If you had told me seven weeks ago that I'd be spending my afternoon walking around our local parks in the pouring rain, desperately trying to stand as far away from other people as I can, whilst still trying to engage with them... I…