Face Up Emotional Resilience Programme, Harrow, London

Delivery organisation

The Young Foundation in partnership with Harrow Metropolitan Police, Wealdstone Ant-Social Partnership team, Harrow Children's Services, Youth Offending Team, Ignite, and University of East London


Harrow Metropolitan Police, programme value £50,000

About the project

The programme targeted approximately 20 people aged 14-19 years who are offending or at risk of offending. The aim was to engage the ‘inner' core group of young males (and potentially the wider ‘hangers on'), focus on a hotspot (the ‘Wealdstone corridor') to reduce anti-social behaviour and encourage the young people to engage in other services.

The emotional resilience training materials were developed by the Young Foundation with the University of East London. Approximately 20 local Harrow staff were identified to receive training to deliver the curriculum to the young people. The multi-agency approach encouraged people to work across professional boundaries for the first time in working with these young people.

The big idea

The emotional resilience programme is based on theoretical concepts of positive psychology, which were framed around interactive sessions with the young people, using multi-media.

Setting up the project

Face Up built on earlier work by the Young Foundation. The UK Resilience Programme was rolled out to over 2,000 pupils aged 11-13 in three local authority areas: Hertfordshire, Manchester, and South Tyneside. This programme, based on the Penn Resilience Programme, developed by Dr Martin Seligman and his team at the University of Pennsylvania, aims to cultivate the emotional resilience of young people. Face Up sought to trial this approach with young people who were at risk of offending.

The Young Foundation with University of East London trained Harrow staff working with young people over three days, which included a refresher day. These included police officers, youth workers and ‘local champions' (young volunteers in the Harrow area). The staff were supported to deliver the training to the young people.

The young people were invited to Face Up, a course that was delivered for three hours over three days. The emotional resilience curriculum was built around interactive and tailored film making, music production and facilitated inquiry.

Harrow staff and volunteers completed and delivered the Face Up programme. In addition, 20 young people successfully completed the programme.

The young people participated in emotional resilience training for three hours over three days.

Impact of the project

Older young people received training alongside Harrow staff. The young people were from the local area and shared similar experiences with the young people. The local champions modelled positive behaviour and provided invaluable support to Harrow staff.

Lessons learned

The training curriculum was developed to reflect the local and project-specific context. The curriculum, format and promotional materials were piloted with staff, young people and the local champions and refined throughout the project.

Top tips to replicate this project in your locality

1. Appreciate the differences across the different people you will work with.
2. Know the interests of the people you want to involve in your project.
3. It takes time to build relationships and trust, and you will need to factor this into the project timeline.

What's next?

The Young Foundation is exploring opportunities to replicate the programme in other areas.