During February half term 2016 Active Youth Outreach Services ran an outreach project promoting positive behaviour and engagement as part of an Early Help strategy supported by Bromsgrove and Redditch District Council. Our intention was to educate young people to make positive decisions through structured engagement and low level media on.
Bromsgrove and Redditch Early Help had identified a group of young people already receiving some support that were in need of some positive engagement strategy through referral in to our services.
Bromsgrove and Redditch Early Help approached AYOS as a result of hearing about our successful outreach projects already occurring across Worcestershire with other Early Help providers. We regularly utilise our mobile youth outreach trailer to provide structured sessions surrounding positive engagement, low level media on and signposting support. During the half term we were based at Tulip Children’s Centre on the car park, we set up all of our mobile resources aboard the youth trailer which houses; TVs, Games Consoles, Sofas, Arts and Crafts as well as our outdoor activities including inflatables, archery, mobile skate ramps, table tennis, various team challenges and sporting items. The key aim for the sessions were to build relationships with the young people and other structured discussions to support them in the day to day positive behaviour choices.
During the week the sessions were split in to two with different groups of young people a ending Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Friday, many of the young people enjoyed the sessions so much that they requested to be a part of the whole week. We structured each day differently depending on what the young people wanted to achieve and as a result had a high rate of young people a ending all the sessions they were referred in to. Across 30 spaces available throughout the week we recorded a 77% retention of young people. All of the young people had never met before and left our outreach project having made new friends and feeling more con dent to make informed decisions with regards to their behaviour. 100% of the young people felt supported, engaged and that the outreach project was useful and made a difference to them.
Here are a few quotes we received from our young people;
“Somewhere to go and meet new people”
“Gets us out the house to meet new people who can support us”
“Improve and learn new skills”
“Helps me to make new friends”
“A space to talk and have fun”
“It feels like the youth trailer makes a difference to me”
As a result of the positive outcomes we are intending to launch a summer project in Bromsgrove as a mobile youth club for young people to a end, have fun and talk through any problems or issues they may have.