BIGKID Foundation is an award-winning charity committed to seeing no young person lose their life or potential to youth violence. BIGKID was formed in 2000 by Shaninga Marasha, who – while still in sixth form – started a mentoring programme for the young people at his school who were at risk of exclusion and on their final warning. BIGKID offer a range of programmes for young people, including sports, mentoring and leadership.
In response to COVID, BIGKID created a virtual youth club. They also maintained 1-to-1 contact with as many young people as possible to monitor their wellbeing. Young people said that BIGKID’s lockdown offering helped them feel less stressed, less bored and less lonely.
High Trees Community Development Trust
Based in Tulse Hill, Lambeth, High Trees Community Development Trust was founded by local residents in 1998 and have now been delivering projects and services to local people for 24 years. Rooted in the local community, and guided by community need, they deliver a range of projects and services.
In response to COVID, HTDCT worked with a partner to deliver hundreds of IT devices to young people so that they were less isolated and able to continue with their education online. They also set up a toy lending library so that all families could access things to do in lockdown.
Lewisham Music is an independent charity on a mission to inspire and empower young people across our community through a diverse programme of learning and music-making. They believe that all children and young people in the borough of Lewisham should have access to a diverse range of high-quality, inspirational musical activities which are appropriate for their ability and aligned to their interests.
In response to COVID, Lewisham Music delivered online music lessons and set up a digital music festival to showcase the talent of young people. Parents reported that their children were more connected with other young people and their wellbeing improved as a result.
North Paddington Youth Club
The North Paddington Club is a purpose-built club which provides informal educative services to young people between the ages of 8-21. They aim to encourage young people to participate in a safe and friendly environment which allows them to explore issues relevant to their situation and needs activities are therefore centred on developmental group work designed to expand on discursive skills and giving them opportunities to challenge obstacles they may face.
In response to COVID, North Paddington Youth Club delivered cooked meals, food shopping, sports equipment and IT devices to young people. Young people reported that North Paddington Youth Club gave them an escape from other pressures in their lives.
Synergy Theatre Project
Founded over 20 years ago, Synergy creates ground-breaking work across theatre and the criminal justice system. Some of the most disadvantaged are over-represented in the criminal justice system and their vision is to work through theatre towards a fairer world where those within or at risk of entering the criminal justice system can discover alternate pathways and become an integral and meaningful part of society.
In response to COVID, Synergy Theatre Project started online creative group projects for those at risk of offending. Due to this work, the young people reported an improvement in their mental health and a change in attitudes towards crime.
Westminster Befriend A Family
Westminster Befriend A Family supports Refugees in Westminster. Families who have fled from Afghanistan and other countries have arrived in Westminster seeking safety. WBAF’s trained mentors are helping them to find their feet and settle in, with practical, social and emotional support
In response to COVID, WBAF developed a signposting bulletin to provide people with resources to support them in the challenges they were facing. They also set up a group of young ambassadors, which then became a Youth Advisory Board to advise trustees. Due to the mentoring from WBAF, young people reported an increase in confidence and thought their mentors were very supportive.
Young Urban Arts Foundation
Young Urban Arts Foundation’s mission to empower the lives of young people by strengthening well-being and building opportunities, through creativity and culture, ensuring that they are seen, heard and celebrated. They are known for delivering both empowering and creative outreach workshops in hard-to-reach areas where young people are at high-risk of child exploitation, being a victim of crime or those who do not have access to opportunities.
In response to COVID, YUAF delivered online creative workshops to given young people a connection with their peers and to provide 1-to-1 support. Young people expressed greater emotional well-being and confidence as a result in engaging in activities, learning new skills and raising their aspirations.