Face Up - Connect, Keep Learning

Local residents and shopkeepers, police and youth services in the 'Wealdstone Corridor' area in Harrow, London, were all concerned with persistent anti-social behaviour from a group of young males. The aim of this initiative was to reduce such behaviour by engaging with the young males on an intensive three-day interactive project on emotional resilience, facilitated by the Young Foundation.

It was important to involve all key stakeholders to ensure they all joined this journey. Numerous meetings were held with the different teams and individuals in Harrow to understand the group of young males, and the problems faced in the community. Through local contacts, four young males from similar backgrounds to the target participants were recruited to be ‘local champions' and to deliver elements of the project as volunteers. ‘Hanging out' in the local area, and talking to the young males, helped develop the project's content as well as start to develop trust and rapport with the young males who were targeted as project participants.

The project needed to be delivered locally, right on the doorstep of where the young males ‘hung out'. Harrow Council was approached and agreed to support the project ‘in kind' with a local venue and key staff time to attend.

For the workshop itself, making the sessions fast paced and interactive with music production and film making kept people engaged. The experience of the staff, volunteers and young people who attended was extremely positive. They all felt they had gained insight into their own lives, finding common ground and ways of communicating with each other that perhaps had been missing. The project did take some time initially, but this was essential to build up the trust of the young males, alongside the trust and support of the local staff and volunteers involved.

Unabridged version: Face up

15 September 2011

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