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Engagement & upgrading community assets

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This is Youth & Community Connexions, we are a youth lead charity that is taking a fresh approach to youth work and providing support to the varied and diverse communities of north London.

Our aim is to support and facilitate young people, parents as well as the wider community in a variety of different ways with the sole aim of improving the quality of the individuals lives. We do this in a number of different ways so as to engage as many people as possible and to eliminate any barriers to reach and participation of the whole of the community in particular the groups that are considered as hard to reach. As a youth lead charity we are able to run a varied range of programmes, workshops and activities alongside other essential services in relation to education, welfare, social & emotional topics. 

· Some of which consist of - parenting 1-1 support, advocacy, conflict skills, parent & YP mental health support, gangs awareness, domestic violence support, self-harm and suicide support, sexual health and sexual violence support.

· Some of our current workshops, activities and support services consist of - our community youth drop-in centre, youth leadership programs, youth business start-up / support workshops, victims support program, detached youth work, employability / job support, music production, 3D animation, media / photography activities and boxing / basketball activities. 

With the steep rise in the cost of living and socialising, the impact on charities in relation to resources required for us to carry out our valuable work is becoming more difficult to come by, as the range of support we provide for the community is extensive, so are the resources required.  

What change will your support make to our organisation?

As of 2022 Enfield is currently high within the rankings of serious youth violence and is within the 10% most deprived Boroughs in England & has extremely high knife crime a large proportion of which reliable sources tell us goes unreported & high unemployment rates particularly involving youths. Change is needed, to make more of a meaningful and active difference we are going to need to expand parts of our services to help enable us to meet the ever-growing and evolving needs within our community.

This document will also outline programs and activities we aim to expand over the next year, some of the identified areas within our organisation will be looking to expand & develop will consist of:

1. Our Detached Team - Your support will enable us to expand our detached team by adding new part-time workers, resources and equipment. This expansion will mean that instead of our team going out 3 days a week we will be able to go out 6 days a week from Mondays to Fridays all our sessions will take place from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. The expertise, skills and experience of our dethatched team is that they are trained to be able to engage and hold sensitive conversations with groups often deemed hard to reach or volatile young people, our team have vast experience of talking young people out of either being involved in or from carrying weapons and or from involving themselves in altercations with rival groups therefore potentially saving many lives for all involved.

Our team will proactively deploy themselves to different areas throughout Enfield and Haringey where we are aware or heard that there has been elevated grooming, mugging, youth crime, intimidation, youth anti-social behavior, youth gang activities and groups of young people with nothing to do after school. By being situated in the places young people spend time, our detached workers will build an understanding of the issues that young people experience & the relationships they form & intervene in harmful contexts.

With your support our detached team will be able to deliver a wider range of informal workshops & taster sessions consisting of: sexual health advice and support, Condom distribution, Music production, Table tennis, boxing & personal fitness activities / workshops, which will all be delivered in local streets, parks, estates & shopping centres. The aim of our expanded detached team will be to:

· Discourage any anti-social behavior and youth crime through having more a visible presence, 

· Provide a visible sense of safety and security for local residence and businesses, 

· Start positive engagement with the so called hard to reach to see where and how we can support,

· Promote positive activities and opportunities for the whole community, 

· Gather important intelligence from the community to shape the support we provide, 

· Provide on the spot information, advice, and guidance,

Any support for this program will enable us to make a drastic difference to the lives of children and young people living within North London

2. Victims Support program - Your support will enable us to move our 2 day a week bespoke victims support service up to 6 days a week enabling us to triple the amount of people we can support. Within this project we will provide new recovery mentors for victims of crime to aid them in areas of everyday life that have been negatively impacted or effected by the harm which was done to them by another or others. We aim to provide our benefactors with someone they can trust to help them recover from trauma by providing an empathic ear & emotional/social support plus practical help.

Our new mentors will aim to have at least 2 contacts per week with the service user beginning with home visits (or a more suitable place) to first get to know one another, the mentors who will over those visits will work with the clients to see which areas of support they will provide, for instance this could be regular visits, video calls or emails for talking, listening or advice. It may also include helping to create a individualised safety plan to help protect themselves from further harm or being targeted, assisting them in building a supportive network, attending appointments, errands or essential trips.

Any support for this program will enable us to make a drastic difference to the lives of children and young people living within North London

3. Our new community building project - In July 2021 we took over a large, disused / underutilized part of the Edmonton Green shopping centre, we are in the process of redesigning / turning the space in to a bright modern vibrant space which will enable us to run and deliver free & affordable community activities, services, workshops, events & enable us to provide a place for community groups to run their activities from. Unfortunately, the section of the shopping centre we have taken over has not been in use for the last 16 ½ years and some parts are ready to go and others need significant adaptions to enable us to use it effectively. Essentially we are currently trying to raise money to help us to pay for building repair, developing and improving some non-functioning out of date community rooms and turning them into modern vibrant community facilities.

As an organisation we are currently in the process of trying to fundraise £35,500 this will go toward:

· The installation of our new community kitchen within our building, we have been kindly gifted a kitchen but it will cost us £5,000 to have the kitchen professionally installed along with the necessary plumbing and minor electrical wiring.

· We will also need to remove the buildings old damaged electrical system and rewire 8 rooms in our center this will enable us to run a higher capacity and a higher load to them so we can install and set up our new community recording studios, computer room, podcasts room and 5 other medium-size community workshop / meeting rooms this will cost - £22,500.

· We also need to change and upgrade the old, damaged heating system in 18 of the rooms within the building, our new energy-efficient system this will cost - £8,000.

Any support or contribution towards this will enable us to drastically improve the look, feel and usability of our new community facility and will enable our organisations to support referrals, develop new and engaging specialist services, whilst also enabling us to do more within our building like helping to addressing equality, diversity and inclusion including employment and skills issues, language barriers, upskilling and retraining programmes. Within our new and upgraded community kitchen and eight community rooms we aim to run a free after school / homework clubs, healthy eating classes, exercise classes, activities for elderly residents, young mothers etc.

As well as these new facilities our hub will be able to offer more of our local residents with information advice and guidance, early intervention services to young people helping them solve problems before they escalate into bigger problems. Not only will it fill large gaps in services currently in the area, but it will also compliment other services who can only offer limited support or may require a place to refer their client for additional support or simply require a space to deliver a piece of work or project that is of benefit to individuals or groups, this venue will just broaden the range of what Enfield can offer.


Chris McCoy

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