Excellent programmes are vital, but the way that we that we deliver them is crucial too. Years of hands-on experience has helped us to identify key approaches or conditions which maximise the effectiveness of our projects and activities. These are our ‘Mechanisms of Change’.
Using an asset-based approach
We see young people as as inherently valuable assets who are ‘at promise’ (rather than ‘at risk’ ). We are committed to realising that promise by providing the activities, opportunities and support they need. Enabling them to discover their unique contribution to the world is a powerful agent of change. This perspective shapes our relationships with young people and the processes we use.
Safe places and relationships with significant adults
We create safe, secure environments for young people, working hard to ensure they are free from bullying, bias, discrimination and risk of harm. Within these places, we take a person-centred approach to building supportive relationships. We are committed to developing the level of trust required to provide appropriate pastoral care, nurture and safeguarding and to enable young people to discover their own value.
We aspire to become the best possible versions of ourselves and to inspire those we work with to seek the same. We structure our work to facilitate a journey towards people becoming change-makers; developing skills, emotional intelligence, character and a contributing mindset. We are intentional and impact-seeking, building momentum at the appropriate rate for each individual.
Change is challenging to initiate and fully embed: it is best tackled within a safe, trusted support system and it only happens if we stick around for as long as it takes for a person to make the change. Rather than running fixed-length programmes, we work with young people for as long as they need/want, demonstrating a commitment to journey with them throughout different seasons of their lives.
Our work is led by people who are passionate about their local communities and willing to be “wholly present” in our provision. This often involves living as neighbours alongside those we are working with. We seek to ensure that our provision flows out of an understanding of the concerns, insights, hopes and aspirations of the communities in which we are located.
Connecting with others
We embrace the idea that "it takes a village to raise a child". High quality youth work can have significant impact, but it cannot provide everything that young people need to thrive. We give attention to facilitating appropriate relationships between young people and local adults, strengthening communities to support young people, their development and their transition into the adult community.