Despite delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Young People Forward Project is now positive impacting on the lives of young people.
Young People Forward aims to use sport to improve the physical and mental health, self-efficacy and resilience of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across the North of England and Scotland. You can read about a variety of the projects happening, including;
- Active Humber working with Humber YMCA
- Yorkshire Sport Foundation’s work with Roundabout; a youth housing charity,
- Active Lancashire’s work with StreetLife; an organisation which supports vulnerable young people.
- Street Soccer Scotland’s work with Jordan to support him to develop as a volunteer,
Funded by Virgin Money through the London Marathon Trust, and coordinated by Active Partnerships and Street Soccer Scotland, the project is currently supporting 300 young people. 42 organisations are involved in the delivery, with over 150 sessions of activity taken place so far and 70 young people are receiving bespoke mentoring support.
The project focuses on collaboration and learning together about how to most effectively utilise the power of sport and physical activity to mitigate the factors that are causing young people to experience homelessness or to be at risk of it.
Learning to date includes:-
Creating better connections amonst organisations. Many services were unaware of other organisations who worked with Young People in their community. Therefore, connecting the organisations working to provide young people’s services has provided a stronger more sustainable wrap around support for the young people, giving them more places to turn to for support.
Ultlising people with lived experience. Interestingly in-house activity run by the organisations and led by people with lived experience is seemingly more successful than activity led by external organisations. A better rapport and trust is developed.
Increased anxiety levels. A huge surprise has been the number of young people experiencing high levels of anxiety due to the lockdown and who need a lot of support with their mental health.
The project is also realising additional benefits for the young people, including a young man securing a place at the London Marathon after being recommended by the organisations supporting him. He has been on an unbelievable journey, leaving Kuwait at the age of 16 and arriving in England with no family and not able to speak, read or write English. It is hoped the experience will continue his development understanding of how sport can continue to improve his life.
As lockdown restrictions ease, support for the young people will accelerate and opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity will increase through the 42 delivery organisations. Securing the long term future of the programme will also be a key priority in the coming months.
For more information on the project please contact Jane Moodie 07960 340142 email@example.com
The Young People Forward project aims to work with just under 600 young people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness while also developing a programme model that can be rolled out to inspire activity in many more.
The funding is distributed by Active Partnerships to seven delivery partners in the North of England and Scotland which will provide physical activity sessions in 11 areas: Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Humber, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Edinburgh, West Lothian and Glasgow.
Picture Credit Amir Hosseini