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 focussed on cities - London in particular. And inner-city schools have had…

Getting Ready for Secondary School

Serious youth violence has been referred to nationally as a 'social emergency'. We see prevention as a key strategy: building long-term relationships with young people is only part of the solution. Actually, working alongside families as a whole is a far better scenario. Especially before children enter secondary education. Returning to one of our formative series, 'Getting Ready for Secondary School' combines two of LifeLine's most succesful programmes for a new, holistic offer for families of pre-secondary school children in Dagenham that combines family learning sessions with mentoring for the children AND their parents. The transition from primary into secondary…

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…

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…

Partnering with others helps to create community

"At the age of 23 I quit full time youth work. I was burnt out and decided to pursue my degree training and get a job in business. "During the previous three years, along with a team of volunteers, I'd had great fun working with young people. In the course of developing them to be leaders, my creative skills had blossomed and we'd taken the young people on various local, national and international peer leadership programmes. However, fun as it was, I had become frustrated with my team and peers because (I felt) they didn’t do things as well as me. Frustration caused me to think that I was the solution. A very arrogant position which caused me to burn out and eventually quit. "Eventually I got a job in South Kensington which required lots of commuter time. "My mentor bought me the book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham. As I read, I started to see that my peers were not, in fact ‘useless’ but that they had different strengths to me. I realised that while there were certain skills I was strong in, there were other skills my peers would be strong in. The way to get the best out of them would be to allow each to function in their area of strength.

FaithAction’s community english programme secures new government funding

We're excited to announce that FaithAction, our network of over 2,500 faith-based organisations in the UK, has once again secured funding from the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government to deliver the Creative English programme at 55 hubs across the country. Since 2013, over 10,000 learners have benefited from the Creative English approach to learning. After just 10 weeks, 100% of Creative English learners say that their confidence to speak increases, 78% become confident to use English in functional day-to-day situations, while 88% of learners who leave their home less than once a week at the start of the…

20 years of finding solutions to local issues

As we approach our 20 year anniversary next year, we are inspired to reflect on the legacy that we have left thus far and to think about our trajectory for the next 20 years. How will our actions of today result in a positive impact in the future? By the end of this year alone we will have brought over £2.3m into the voluntary sector in our area. Over the past 19 it's been an astounding £54.5m. We can confidently say that we are an established, mature VCSE organisation, proficient at delivering contracts and running a business.

Join us in tackling knife crime in Barking & Dagenham this Christmas

'Deji is dead. He was stabbed, I don't understand... Why?' Chilling words from the mother of a former LifeLine School student, killed in the middle of the day, in broad daylight, on a residential street in south London. He will never have the opportunity to fulfil the dreams he had discussed with his mentor when he left LifeLine school with a 100% attendance record in 2012. All sorts of questions fill our minds: 'How on earth are his family coping with this dreadful news? What went wrong? What can we do to prevent this happening to other students?'

LifeLine Projects receives £147k from Young Londoners Fund

The Mayor of London created the £45m Young Londoners Fund in July 2018, to help children and young adults make the most of our amazing capital. The fund is supporting 72 community projects across the city, to help young people at risk of getting swept up in crime to fulfil their potential. LifeLine Community Projects is receiving £147,000 over three years. Our Standing TALL project (Thriving, Aspiring, Learning, Leading) will engage 540 young people at-risk of exclusion and involvement in criminal activity, and walk with and support them towards improved wellbeing, resilience and meaningful opportunities at school and in the…

Creating a youth movement vs running youth programmes

On the 22nd September LifeLine delivered a series of workshops on knife crime to students in a Dagenham school. Although the school had registered 15 year-11 students for one of the workshops, it had to be cancelled, as only 12 were in attendance. One student was recovering in hospital having been stabbed the previous week and two others had been arrested by police investigating the killing of 15-year-old Jordan Douherty, the youngest person to be killed by knife crime in London this year.