'Climb' with the Children's Society

Published: 16th October 2020

During the lockdown, the Children’s Society started a new project in the West Mercia region to support young people who could be at risk of entering the criminal justice system.

Officially launched in May, ‘Climb’ receives funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner and is a diversionary project aiming to provide young people who might be susceptible to going down a criminal path, with more positive ways to spend their time. Young people aged between 10 and 17 can be referred to the programme from a number of different places – some self-refer or their parents ask for help and others have already had professional involvement from another agency.

The Services Manager for Worcestershire and Herefordshire, Georgia Boyce said: “By working with the young person to encourage them to be involved with more positive activities, it reduces the risk that they will become involved in negative behaviour. We listen to the young person, ask them where they want to be and then work out how we can help them get there. It’s definitely not a 9-5 job and we’ll often be out in the evenings playing cricket or tennis!”

There are a wide range of ways in which a young person might be supported through the programme. The team might pay for a year’s subscription to a local football or rugby team and buy the kit so the young person can attend training. Others get involved in creative writing or local drama groups. Sometimes it’s just about supporting the young person to attend school on a regular basis.

A full-time project worker can have a case load of around 14 young people all requiring different levels of support. During the school holidays the team will put on activity days, giving young people the chance to do things like water activities, go karting or creating their own music video.

“It’s all about keeping them busy so they don’t get involved in anything more negative, said Georgia. “It’s also a chance to give them a taste of different activities to see if there’s something they might want to take further.”

Since May, the team have had 133 referrals and although it’s been difficult during the pandemic, the team have worked hard to adapt, staying in touch with the young people through text, phone calls and video chats. “We’re now starting to go back out to do face to face meetings, but have actually found that some prefer the virtual support, so it’ll be a mix of both going forward,” said Georgia.

“We’ll support any aspect of the young person’s life that they need help with. It’s all about building up trust with the young people, helping them to grow in confidence and raising their awareness to vulnerable situations. We’ll always be at the end of the phone if they need help and will keep supporting them until we are sure that they have other networks in place.”

The name ‘Climb’ was suggested by a young person helped through the service who felt that she had been in a deep hole and the project worker really helped her to climb out of it and see the opportunities around her.

Find out more on The Children’s Society website.

Page last updated: 23rd October 2020 1:52 PM
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