Support LifeLine with purchases at Co-op

We're pleased to have been selected to receive sponsorship through Co-op's Local Community Fund for the third year in a row. The fund allows Co-op members to nominate a local cause to receive a donation of 1% of what they spend on selected Co-op products and services. In 2019, the fund gave £17m to over 4,000 local causes. If you're a regular user of Co-op, we'd love it if you'd consider supporting LifeLine through the fund! Already a Co-op member? Just log into your Co-op account and you'll be able to choose your preferred cause. Not a Co-op member yet?…

A call to outer-London boroughs: wake up to the danger of serious youth violence!

We've all seen the newspaper articles. The shock story about another young person whose life has been brought to an untimely end. At LifeLine, we've had to come to terms with the news that some of the young people on our own programmes have died. It's hard news to hear. And it's equally as hard to talk to a school who doesn't want to hear the message - that some of their students are in danger of becoming involved. Serious youth violence, as reported by the media, has focused on cities - London in particular. And inner-city schools have had…

SW!TCH Futures: From primary to secondary

  With the reduction of preventative programmes (including the decline of Children’s Centres), schools increasingly find that they are unable to provide effective support for students before they reach the point of being excluded.  It's not a surprise, therefore, that exclusions are rising! In our work with vulnerable young people we often see that the struggle begins at the point of transition between primary and secondary school. The goal of LifeLine's latest programme SW!TCH Futures, is to help students to build resilience in preparation for the transition, thus changing the trajectory that their life might otherwise take. Prevention is such…

Ask the Expert: Teaching in Alternative Education

Having previously worked in two mainstream schools in Redbridge and Havering, I came to LifeLine with a supply of resources, a decent amount of teaching experience, and a skill-set that had already seen me as Head of Year and as Second in Charge of an English Department in a special measures school. I was excited to start at LifeLine School because I really didn’t know what to expect, and I liked the challenge and surprise that it might bring. I felt like, professionally, I was equipped to give it a go. Throughout my entire time here, I've found myself having…

Triangulating intel – the crucial ingredient in combating serious youth violence

Last month, tragically, a teenager was stabbed (and died) while attending a knife awareness course. The event was shocking, and raised questions across the sector about how to best safeguard those who are invited to attend such courses. In our serious youth violence prevention programme SW!TCH Lives (and indeed all of our programmes), we place great emphasis on building relationship through long-term mentoring. This is the best way to get to know the individuals along with who their "ops" (opposition) and associates are. Attempting to discover this information from cold is very difficult; young people are far less inclined to talk honestly, fully, and openly with someone they don't know. We should also note that information changes rapidly and that's why a relational, rather than information-gathering, approach is essential.

Life for young people in Havering

Historically white British and relatively affluent, Havering has seen rapid urbanisation in the last decade. Dubbed ‘London’s last affordable borough’, thousands of families have moved or been moved here, forced out of inner London by high costs of living and attracted to the stock of larger houses. According to the 2019 Serious Group Violence and Knife Crime Strategy, Havering wasn’t prepared for the scale or speed of this change and the high-need of these new families, and outcomes for young people in Havering have deteriorated as a result. Numbers of Children in Need and referrals to children’s services have risen…

Five top tips for writing a winning funding application

In 20 years, we’ve written our fair share of funding applications. From small grants testing new ideas to multi-million pound tenders rolling out national programmes, we’ve won, lost and learned a great deal. Off the back of an exciting period of growth for LifeLine, here’s five quick tips for taking your applications the extra mile – hopefully towards success! 1. Check, check, check In writing, time spent checking is never time wasted. First up, make sure you read everything the funder has written– the guidance, any FAQs, the background of the organisation. Three things to look out for: Check who’s…

Announcement today allows further expansion of SW!TCH Lives violence prevention programme

We're excited to announce that TODAY, on #WorldMentalHealthDay2019, more schools across a greater geographical area, including Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Havering and now Thurrock will have access to LifeLine's SW!TCH Lives and VIP mentoring programme, designed to improve the life chances of young people who are on the edge of a life of violence and crime, school exclusion or poor mental health.

Leading the way, learning through play…

"There are no parks close by where I can take my child to play! We live in a high rise flat – help, where should we go?" This was the cry of parents at Little Learners Nursery in the centre of Ilford, East London. Rising numbers of parents both return to work after the birth of a child, coupled with various Government schemes on offer (including the whopping 30 hours free childcare) to make this both possible and attractive. It’s not hard to foresee tomorrow’s potential problem for today’s city-centre children. But what's the solution?

New FUNDED service for schools – supporting young people with mental health issues

Many of the young people LifeLine work with have been deeply affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) – or trauma. A growing body of research has identified the harmful effects that such experiences occurring during childhood, or teenage years (for example among others, exposure to domestic violence, or substance abuse or household mental illness) have on lifetime health. Individuals who have ACEs also tend to have more physical and mental health issues as adults than those who don’t and also tend to have a shorter life expectancy*.