Working as we do in the youth estate, we are no stranger to the serious challenges that are being faced, and know all too well how this impacts children in custody, who are among the most vulnerable and marginalised children in society. It’s clear that serious, decisive action must be taken.
Whilst the situation is, as described by the inspectorate, bleak, we redouble our efforts to reach children in custody with hopeful programmes, that recognise their unique potential, strengths and qualities. Doing this, we can make a real impact in individual lives. Our Service Delivery Manager working in the youth estate shared this quote with us from a 17 year old boy who participated in one of our workshops:
“He relayed to me that never in his life has he heard people talk positively about him past the age of 11. Not school teachers, Youth Workers, Social Workers nor any Police Officers he encountered. He turned to me with a tear in his eye, taking a deep breath, and said: “Not even my own parents have anything positive to say about me, they long ago gave up on me, so thank you”.
And you can see the impact for yourself. Donell, the young man in this film, was just 15 years old, being held in the youth estate when we first started coaching him. Today, he runs his own successful business, he is a public speaker, he inspires others and helps influence change that will positively impact future young people who find themselves caught up in a similar situation.
As we continue to deliver in the youth estate in the face of many obstacles, we will carry on channelling our core values, but one in particular – STICKABILITY — When the going gets tough, we stick with our participants, our projects and our commitments. We channel our grit and resilience to make it through challenges and we don’t give up easily.