A Message from Jenifer Cameron
It is a real pleasure to announce that Sir Francis Habgood, former Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police and now Chair of Bucks’ Safeguarding Boards, is now an Ambassador for Action4Youth and the work we do. We are delighted to have his thoughts and support for the many strands of our work, but of course, especially in regard to our interventions which aim to prevent young people becoming engaged in crime.
It was fascinating to learn that 20 years ago, Francis had led a programme for young people in Yorkshire called Reach Out. It was very, very similar to our Breakout programme in being aimed at young people showing the signs of being at risk of criminal activity: truancy from school, disruptive and anti-social behaviour and in employing similar methods to engage these young people and help them to develop more positive attitudes and direction in life. These are outdoor adventure and challenge, combined with intensive 1-2-1 mentoring along with classroom session and skills attainment to build confidence, team working and purpose. It was a little galling to realise our programme wasn’t the new and original idea we’d imagined but very reassuring to know these methods work in transforming lives in a positive way.
We have been successful in securing Holiday and Food fund from Buckinghamshire council which will support delivery over the Christmas holidays. This will be providing hot meals to all young people and taking part in multiple activities such as sports sessions, arts and crafts, street dance, parkour, cooking classes and more. We have had local MP Steve Baker come with A4Y Chairman David showing the great work and venue that we have on offer for all young people across High Wycombe. Steve Baker is coming back to take part in a kickboxing session with the young people and also doing a session with the young people to share about his life as an MP and find out what the young people are thinking.
We have reached over 300 individual young people at The Junction which has been a great achievement to see so many young people coming and that there is a need for what we do. We have also recruited our new Senior Youth Worker Jack who has hit the ground running and will be a great asset to the team.
Young people have said
– “Its just good to have somewhere to go and be welcomed”
– “I would be sooo bored without coming here, I come everyday after school and at the weekend as well, I would like to just live here”
Counselling @ The Junction
Counselling is a therapy that involves a qualified and trained counsellor to listen and help clients find ways to deal with emotional matters. It is found that around 75% of mental illnesses start before the age of 25. Unfortunately, it is often the case that a child will go untreated with significant impacts to their life, their family, as well as the whole society.
Counselling at The Junction is a free service for young people aged 12-18 (up to 25 for SEND). This is a safe and confidential environment for the young person to talk to someone who will listen to them in a friendly and non-judgemental manner.
Our sessions last for 50 minutes, once a week. We offer 6-18 sessions to the young person and progress is assessed every 6 weeks to ensure the young person meets their goals and outcomes. These goals and outcomes are unique to each individual; thus, the counsellor helps the young person to achieve them in the best ways suited for them and their needs.
Sonia* has been using our Youth Space and Counselling Service for a few weeks. Being SEND, Sonia feels that the youth space has given her the opportunity to take part in some activities that she can enjoy. It also helped her to mix and connect with other young people. Sonia refers to counselling as very helpful, she says: ‘Counselling has helped me talk about my emotions, which makes me feel better.’
As the Junction is open 7 days a week, Sonia joins us most days of the week to take part in the various activities we offer, she specifically enjoys coming on Mondays for the Girls’ Night. Sonia’s favourite session is Foodie Friday, which is a cooking session, taking place every other Friday at our centre.
* Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality
NCS – Pebble Brook
The NCS team worked alongside Pebble Brook school with 30 young people, delivering an NCS autumn programme this October. We visited Caldecotte Xperience, completed different skills sessions, such as cooking, money skills and martial arts, then made cakes and posters to sell outside the library in aid of the school’s social action partner, Florence Nightingale Trust. The teams raised £60 for the charity in only two hours! We also completed litter picking around the local community.
Teacher, Sameena Kauser said
‘The students have greatly benefited from the tailored programme as they have been able to really excel and shine amongst likeminded peers. The small groups and very experienced instructors allowed for students to push themselves out of their comfort zones.
One student was nominated for overcoming their fear of water and really challenging themselves on the climbing wall; he went from not wanting to participate to actually climbing halfway up the wall. This is a tremendous achievement for this young man.
The students who took part in the NCS programme showed real developments in their confidence and knowledge of their own abilities. It is such a fantastic opportunity for our students to take part and the benefits are so great it is difficult to note them all down.
We look forward to the next year group in taking part as this is something everyone should have the chance to take part in. Thank you to all of the NCS team and the instructors who have worked hard to create another successful NCS programme.’ Pebble Brook Further Education Department Staff.
The Inspiration Programme
The Inspiration Programme is working with young people from year 8 to year 13 in schools across the county. In the first term back after the summer break, the young people had a variety of trips and visits scheduled.
- Wendover Woods- where they took part in a well being and sensory walk, whilst looking at the benefits of looking after out environment and the overall health benefits. The young people really enjoyed the pilot for the sensory walk and gave feedback on their experience.
- Walk about Wing– Looking at what Arts and Culture in their own environment and learning about the history and how it has influenced the local culture as well as linking it to local employment and community. The school takes an active part in this session and the young people learnt a great deal about the arts and culture of their local environment.
- Great moor – Energy from waste plant where the group were reminded about the reasons we recycle as well as learning about the plant and what it does with our non-recyclable waste. They were amazed by the amount of non-recyclable waste coming into the plant and how many houses benefited from the electricity generated by it. There were lots of discussion around how we could improve our carbon footprint and educate others. I have been getting new ideas to support the young people from new sources which has been interesting to discover how many new and innovative options are available.
Going into our 2nd term with the schools the young people are involved in three Pillars of the programme, these include Police and Criminal Justice, Health and Wellbeing and Community and Environment with one part way through the Arts and Culture Pillar with trips to Waddesden Manor planned.
I look forward to sharing information about those next month.
Caldecotte Xperience Apprentice – Maisie Lane
After discovering the apprenticeship scheme on the government website, I knew that it was relatively out of my comfort zone. I needed a new environment where I could be challenged physically not just educationally. I am thrilled about the opportunity I have been given as a level 3 outdoor instructor apprentice.
Action4Youth will teach me a wide range of land, water, and rope activities where I will eventually be able to instruct sessions myself. This apprenticeship will allow me to gain multiple qualifications that will help me to succeed in the future.
This apprenticeship enables me to work alongside a wide ride of participants including children, families, teenagers, and people with additional needs. Allowing me to undertake different sessions, to socialise and support others in their self-achievements.
This apprenticeship has helped me to experience rare opportunities, everyday is different and I am able to learn new skills. I have started my training and feel very supported when I need help. The training of activities consists of paddle sports, high ropes, archery, caving, fencing, power boating, safeguarding and first aid. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity and I look forward to gaining new expertise and finishing this apprenticeship.
Tesco Community Grants Scheme – In Store Vote
We are thrilled our application to the Tesco Community Grants Scheme has been successful and we have been put forward to the customer vote in local stores. If you are visiting Tesco stores around High Wycombe, Bourne End, Stokenchurch or Leighton Buzzard please vote for us.
Employee of the Month
We’d like to congratulate Sarah Simmons for winning employee of the month in October. Sarah was nominated for caring very much about the quality and effectiveness of her training; particularly good at adapting the training on the day for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Well done Sarah!
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