Thank you so much to those who came and attended our meeting on 17th November. This is an update on what was discussed.
In the meeting, Rev Julie and Yemi (from Enfield Council) talked about the proposal and explained in a little more detail what the youth provision will be about and what other projects are planned for later.
It was reiterated that this is going to be a preventative initiative, which will provide a safe space for young people to come to. It is not about St John’s or the church, but about the community of Palmers Green and as such is an initiative that is supported by people of different faiths and people of none. Palmers Green will be our main resource with help coming from the community, local businesses, the council as well as support from the local police.
We are hoping to open the provision in February 2020.
There is a standing committee already, which meets regularly and is so far comprised of 4 people. The idea is that we have more people on it from our local community as well as young people who attend the provision so their voices are heard clearly as their input is important. This provision is not about putting in what we think young people need but it’s about listening to the young people and what they need. If you feel like you would like to be on the standing committee and take a more active role in overseeing, networking and organizing this initiative, please get in touch.
As mentioned in previous emails, the youth provision part will be on a Friday afternoon from 3.30pm to 6pm so that young people aged 14-18 can come straight after school. For the first year, Enfield Council will provide us with 2 youth leaders that will be there and also provide training for volunteers through Yemi from Enfield Council. The youth leaders will also be there for the first year to help volunteers and come alongside them to learn ‘on the job’.
As part of the Friday night provision there will also be life skills courses offered to the youth regularly, where young people can learn a skill or craft that will really benefit them. A first round of interviews with young people showed they would like to learn first aid (especially with regards to knife crime). We have had some people from the local community come forward already to offer such a 6-week course so if you know of anything or anyone please do let us know!
We are now looking for volunteers who can commit on a rota basis to help out with the actual provision, that might mean running the tuck shop on the Friday while the young people are there, helping to set up and clear up, chat to young people and ensure they are safe when they meet.
Training for that will be provided and in order to keep everyone safe and adhere to safeguarding regulations when working with youngsters, a DBS check will be compulsory for that.
The second part will be Mentoring. This will take place on a different day of the week and is again for youth aged 14-18. These mentoring sessions will be on a one to one and our vision is to include an element of gardening in order to make it less formal and to give young people a chance to keep busy while chatting and meeting with a mentor. Mentors will never be left alone, there will be a second person around in the background, offering hospitality eg tea, hot chocolates, coffee and biscuits.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please let us know as we are going to meet with those people interested and explore providing free training to them.
The third part will comprise a Support Group for parents/carers with disengaged children or children that have got involved with (knife) crime and drugs etc. Often having a support group like this is the only thing that keeps those parents and carers going and the support and help they find is invaluable. We are looking for people who are interested in and committed to facilitating this group (again training will be provided by us) and we are again looking for people who can provide hospitality (refreshments).
Enfield Council will be running two training sessions at our church for volunteers who would like to help out with the youth provision on a Friday afternoon.
Training will comprise the principles of youth work, managing behaviour, dealing with difficult behaviour, setting high expectations and how to keep children safe.
The first training day is Saturday 7th December (10am – 4pm) and the second training day is Saturday 18th January (10am – 4pm). Training is free to attend and lunch will be provided.
If you are interested in helping with the provision it is important to attend this training as on the day we will also get DBS checks done. All this will be free to you.
To book your day on the training please reply to this email with your name and contact number or book via Eventbrite on here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/training-for-the-palmers-green-youth-provision-tickets-83144253701
Other ways to help out are by helping us get all our resources. We have a very limited budget at this stage and are still in the process of applying for grants, so if you are happy to provide any of the resources to keep the youth entertained such as games etc, please take a look at our Amazon wishlist. Items on this list can be purchased and sent straight to us. We are incredibly grateful to any help with this. Thank you.
Our wishlist is on: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/1A8J01GIQB8TR?ref_=wl_share
Now that the proposal is in and some grants have been applied for, preparations are under way to open in February 2020. We are very passionate about keeping children and young people safe and this is going to be a fantastic first step. However, we can’t do it alone. We need your support. We need the community to come together and support this worthwhile cause. This is not a church youth club but a provision for the young people of Palmers Green, some of whom are very worried about being out and about after school. So please spread the word, book yourself on the training, get involved and contact us if you can help with anything.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Rev Julie Coleman and Jenny Godfrey
We have been busy meeting with many people and we have put a proposal together, which has been sent to Enfield Council and to our local bishops as we are hoping that in time other churches can follow our example and set up provisions for young people.
We are so pleased to know that we will have the support of Enfield Council especially in the beginning stages, where they will be involved in helping us set up and also provide training for volunteers etc. We are then hoping to have the community, local businesses as well as paid workers to take over the provision.
The provision will include the following parts:
1. Youth Club (open to anyone 14-18 year olds)
We will be offering a safe place to come to on a Friday during term time from 3.30pm until 5.30pm. The aim is to start this in March 2020.
There will be a youth club in the main hall where young people can hang out, play pool, have food etc as well as a ‘key skill project’ that will happen in the small hall, where on a 6-week basis, youths will be offered different courses possibly with skill certificates at completion. These projects will be on a termly basis and planned in advance. The first project suggested is a ‘Young Leadership’ project, whereby youths will be trained to part-shape and part-lead the actual youth provision.
During school holidays there will be separate projects such as Enfield Council’s ‘Summer Uni’ in the summer holidays.
2. Mentoring (for 11 – 18 year olds)
The church will offer mentoring facilities to youths who are in need. This work will be in cooperation with Enfield Behaviour Support.
3. Support group for parents and carers with disengaged children
The church is hoping to host a support group for families/parents, who have been affected by youth violence/crime or who struggle to engage positively with their children. This group will meet on a fortnightly basis in the evening by experienced facilitators and volunteers and is aiming to increase positive long-term outcomes for both children and their families.
There will be many ways of getting involved, such as helping the actual youth club by providing refreshments and supervision, by helping with the mentoring, by running a 6-weeks skills project and by being a volunteer to provide refreshments during the support group meetings. Training for this will be provided in advance.
We have already had so many offers of help and support from you and we wanted to thank you again very much for coming forward.
In order to let you know in more detail what we will be looking for and how to get involved, we would like to invite you to a meeting at St John’s Church (Bourne Hill) on Wednesday 20th November at 7.30pm.
We would love to be able to welcome you and hope that despite the time it has taken us to put the actual proposal together and meet with different groups and individuals, you are still keen to support this worthwhile project which is so very much needed in our local community.
Alternatively, if you can’t make the meeting and would like to offer any of the following, please get in touch with us:
- volunteering for helping with sessions
- providing activities for the youth (drama sessions, dance sessions etc)
- providing food eg if you are a local business
- help with administration for this project
- help with applying for grants to help the financial aspect of this project
- help with any financial management of this project
If there is any help you know you can provide, we would love to hear from you! Email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org