Community: Barnstaple

Date Submitted: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:29:24 +0000
Name: Frances Walsh
Organisation: North Devon Homes Ltd
Service(s): Children and families
Review(s): Youth service
Asset interested in: No
Service interested in: Yes
Proposal Details: The open access work we deliver with young people follows three strands with an over arching outcome reduced levels of Anti Social Behaviour and safer calmer communities, raise educational expectations and assist YP into college and/or paid employment. These strands are: 1) Young people more involved from within the community resulting in increased confidence in their abilities and future prospects. This project is youth intervention work, with young people at the heart of every decision we make. Different from many other youth projects, we work with young people aged 9 to 18 years. The project has 343 YP registered with each new cohort of 9 years adding to these figures. Whilst we do deliver age appropriate work, wherever possible we choose to bring these age groups together. On the streets and at home this is how young people really live their lives – in mixed neighbourhoods. By strengthening and supporting these relationships we have been able to make and create calmer communities. The lasting impact being that the young people have created for themselves “young communities” that are solid, supportive and most of all popular with the adults and older people they live amongst. 2) Young people benefitting from youth training courses and learning opportunities to increase employability skills. Working with young people from the aged 9-18 years is around improving: • self confidence • work ethic • CV and interview skills • job searching and advice. • school attendance and attainment • exam and homework prep • finding work placements • support for work and college placements, The key headline has to be that to date 17 young people have left school and gone to college and or gained paid employment who without this project may well have become NEET. For a relatively small investment huge long term savings can be made to the local economy and public purse. It is widely accepted that the average cost to the public finances for each 16-18 year old rescued from becoming NEET is £56,000 with a further £104,000 in resource costs over the course of their lifetime. Less the cost of the project the total social return on investment for this project to date is in the region of £2.4 million without even considering the personal benefits to these individuals. Source: Government Audit Commission 2010 3) The project aims to, and can evidence; influencing young people in making healthy life choices, gaining greater resistance to negative pressures. This project has developed a service that tackles health issues in disadvantaged young people head on. These issues are identified on a locality basis with intervention being delivered in group work or on a one to one basis. Access to age-appropriate health information impacts on the development of “risky behaviour” patterns, such as smoking, drugs, drinking and teen sexual activity. The project has been mindful that partners in health do provide services in schools and colleges; this project has developed pathways to overcome the barriers these young people have to access those services by bringing health education and practitioners into their settings. Over 300 young people, across three localities, currently engage within the project with each cohort of school leavers being supported through the transition into work, further education or trainee opportunities. We have created a range of innovative environments so that young people are supported at different ages and stages in a way that suits their individual needs to make the transition into work. This is of particular importance with the forthcoming proposed changes to DYS which will further widen the gap we have already identified and tackle. Sustainability for the proposal: The project outlined above currently costs £100,000 a year and is fully funded until March 2015 through the Big Lottery. This project has been externally validated with recommitment of funding from the Big Lottery 2012/15 (following the first round of Lottery funding for this project 2009/12). This proposal seeks to find ways of working with DCC to retain and further enhance tried and tested youth services in the community.