Location Tried: City (suburb inner city city centre)
Suggested frequency: Weekly
Hosted by: Your church
Highway of Holiness in Tottenham, London, run a youth club to provide young people with a safe environment to come to, to enable them to interact, play, learn and develop their skills. They mainly work with disaffected young people who are involved with gun and knife crime, and anti-social behaviour.
The club caters for youth, aged 11-19 from all section of the community, including young people from the travellers’ community. Young people come to the youth club after school and are given subsidised food from the Highway Youth Café. The Highway Youth Café is a part of the youth club, and gives the young people the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills by running the café under adult supervision for a period of time. Each group is responsible for choosing what food to serve or sell, the pricing for food, advertising it amongst their peers, taking orders, serving the food, staffing the tills and doing the washing up. This is designed to give the young people the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills, and is judged as a competition by a panel including a local Chief Executive, an adult volunteer, and their customers.
Young people at the youth club also participate in recreational activities, such as pool, table tennis, TV and interactive games, football and basketball. Each evening is divided into two parts with the second half of the evening dedicated to personal development and training in areas such as music production, dance, gardening and wrestling.
The youth club helps children who struggle to feel part of a wider community, who are disadvantaged by an adverse family situation, or suffer from a lack of opportunities. These children are often hurt, isolated and unhappy, but the youth centre can give them renewed confidence and a real sense of wellbeing.
Yasmin, a 15 year old girl who regularly attends the youth club, turned up early one day, and one of the youth workers discovered she had run away from home. After talking the issues through, Yasmin realised that she had been in the wrong and agreed to return home. The youth worker took her back and spoke with her family to help them see where Yasmin was coming from. The youth worker kept in touch with Yasmin in order to counsel her and help her build a relationship with her step-father. Through this encouragement, Yasmin started to have a better relationship with her family and paid close attention to her studies. She was even allowed to take her GCSEs a year early, and passed with As and Bs.
Find out more about the youth club at www.highwayofholiness.co.uk
This idea can be found on page 188 of Hope Heartbeat ©2013 HOPE08 Ltd. For more ideas, Hope Heartbeat is available for purchase from the website above.
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