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…

From hostility to hope. A snapshot in time

We were two youth workers who were sent into a small estate in East London for four sessions a week, over the course of a year. At one stage, the police refused to patrol the streets—and we were supposed to try and build community there! But what we found were willing residents and young people who wanted something different. Often the sessions were extended, and sometimes other youth workers joined us, as the situation required. Throughout the year, we got to know 134 young people of varying ages in and around the estate, building positive relationships with many of them.…

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…