The Vehicle for Change Programme is an ongoing programme for young people that recognises that there are young people who are still at risk of serious violence, knife crime, sex and gang exploitation and are not accessing any services at all. This programme has a two pronged approach of community outreach and then the opportunity for the young person to enter into our Mentoring and Personal development programmes I AM POSSIBLE YOUNG PEOPLES CHALLENGE .This Project will match a caring adult outreach worker and peer mentor with young person from the selected cohort.
Today many of our young people who are either not in full time education or training (NEET) or for other reasons are in care or living in supported housing aren’t very forth coming to engage with intervention activities to either fill in their time or seek a vocation or some form of education, partly due to the fact that they really don’t know what they want to do in life.
With this moratorium the longer it continues with young people the more they will feel that any form of activity will just be one long arduous process that they won’t to commit to or if they are involuntarily thrust in to a project or programme it is very short lived and met with a lot of resistance .
Couple that with the anxiety of failure, the fear of change, low self esteem and may be substance misuse we find society with a generation of young people who would either make fast quick money illegitimately because it the fastest way to raise money and suspend the moratorium or we have young people who become disengaged.
Our work has helped us identify seven important features – we call them foundation blocks – which we believe all children and young people need in order to be safe, happy and secure and able to reach their potential. Each foundation block looks and feels different for every child and is influenced by their age, ability and experience. These foundation blocks are: being physically safe, being physically well, being emotionally well, having strong self-belief having positive relationships, having essential skills, being positively empowered
The Vehicle for change community outreach and mentoring development programme engages with young people between the ages of 10 – 19 WHO ARE NOT engaging with ANY services but are still at risk and vulnerable to serious youth violence and exploitation.
The mission of The Vehicle for Change Project is the pursuit of the following principles:
Commitment: The Vehicle for Change Project wants to inspire pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and install a sense of hope in the future in the young people it reaches through this project
Responsibility: The focus of The Vehicle for Change Project is to empower young people in establishing goals and following through on commitments.
Possibility: The Vehicle for Project wants to expand the perspective of young people to make them aware of life’s possibilities and that change is possible.
Support: An individual is dramatically influenced by their support system. The Vehicle for Change Project wants to reach out to young people who aren’t engaging with services and give them the right kind of support with the right kind of people.
Through firstly a high level of robust community support and engagement with the young person as well as their families, caregivers, guardians and any other services that may be involved with the young person to solidify and forge beneficial bonds and relationships that will allow the young person to become open to any other opportunities around lifestyles changes they may want to explore.
As these relationships are developed we present a bigger picture to the young person that change is possible and a which point we then invite each young person to become part of our I AM POSSIBLE YOUTH CHALLENGE personal development and mentoring programme. During that time the two will participate in weekly planned activities to strengthen the relationship between the two and improve the young person’s confidence and hopefulness.
Currently 3 community outreach support deliver a weekly outreach with the selected cohort to encourage and support each young person they are working with toward change. This robust community engagement will also support the young person with any other issues and challenges they my have.
The outreach worker will also meet regularly with the young persons family member, caregiver etc to support and mediate any challenges the young person may be having at home. Other sources of funding will be drawn upon to encourage the young person to attend any activities they wish to explore with their outreach worker to help break the any cycles of engaging with negative role models or uninfluential peers.
Our 2 peer mentors who have similar backgrounds as the beneficiaries mentee have fortnightly one to one peer mentoring and personal development sessions that will support the young person to set goals and execute them effectively by looking at topics such as;
1. How we develop self-identity,
2. Associations: positive and negative influences of friends and how to develop stronger
3. Learning how to tackle fear, how to develop stronger personal relationships.
4 . Attitude of gratitude learning about how gratitude and giving to others can give our lives
5. How to stay grounded when times get tough.
6. Directing your thoughts and how to think purposefully and challenge self-doubt,
7. Embracing failure by finding the positive in setbacks,
8. Inner and outer conflict resolution where you learn to manage and navigate emotions and the emotions of others,
9. Choose life, looking at the impact of gun and knife Crime, gang and street life and the influences that lead to living such a dangerous lifestyle,
8. Personal resilience,
10. Emotional intelligence; learning how to tap into your] intuition to manage the behaviours of other and yourself.
10. Drug and alcohol awareness
As the young person navigates through this process the mentor will then start to look at what the young person would like to achieve vocationally or educationally and begin to liaise with the outreach team in signposting the young person or supporting the young person with any kind of applications.
By using peer mentors from similar backgrounds they will be able to support the young person to see a bigger picture of the choices that they are making that could be leading them in to dangerous situations