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 health issues.
Between January and April 2021, the National Lottery Community funding will enable 40 young people to receive our award-winning Vision Identity and Purpose (VIP) mentoring support programme. VIP Mentoring was developed in unison with young people and enhances their resilience to manage mental health issues and refrain from social and emotional pressures. While they are with us, our mentees will have regular access to a supportive adult, positive groups, and reliable professionals to combat challenges in their lives.
In normal circumstances, our mentoring would be school-based, but the impact of COVID has resulted in us also offering assistance to community partners such as children and family services, the East Area Gangs unit, youth offending services, family intervention teams, targeted youth support, youth engagement services, Police Community Support Officers, youth hostels, and housing teams.
This funding also enables us to employ an additional three part-time Outreach Development Workers, who will engage with young people in neighbourhoods renowned for anti-social behaviour and high levels of crime. We will deploy our outreach team to approach hard-to-reach young people, utilising their experience of engaging this cohort to offer them the chance to engage in our wide range of positive activities across the five boroughs. These staff will mean we’re able to deliver an addtiional 8 activities each week, providing a total of 23 positive activities on a weekly basis.
The funding will also mean we’re able to take young people on diversionary excursions and expose them to new life experiences that would not usually be accessible to them.
We are thoroughly ecstatic to be able to provide our premium high-quality mentoring and outreach to vulnerable young people and families across East London and we offer our heartfelt thanks to the National Lottery and Government for believing in our mentoring model.