Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

SAFE! supports young people in the Thames Valley, aged 8- 25, who have been harmed by crime and who are finding it hard to recover from their experience. Through 1-to-1 support with a SAFE! Project Worker we put the young people’s needs at the heart of the process. Our support aims to empower young people by giving them a voice and helping them and those around them to build protective communities where they can feel safe. With the rise in sexual abuse, domestic violence and internet crime the world can be a very scary place, and SAFE!’s unique, innovative and compassionate service seeks to help young people live happy and adventurous lives.

In addition to the 1-to-1 support, SAFE! has identified how beneficial peer support can be to young people. Knowing that they are not alone can help normalise their situation, seeing how others cope with and manage their experiences and ultimately move on from them can help with their recovery.

During consultation groups with young people, participants told us that they had found great support in the process of talking to others who had experienced similar crimes, with one girl commenting 'groups with young people could increase their confidence, take away the taboo and make you feel less dirty, isolated and ashamed’.

SAFE! arranges activity days, fun days and residentials to give young people the opportunity to meet others who have been through similar experiences. These days provide the young people with a mix of fun activities, team and individual exercises and opportunities to work through some of the things they struggle with.

Impact of a day out
We took a group of 8 children to the climbing wall. For most of them this was their first ever climbing experience. This day out provided them with a much needed break from their daily struggles and vulnerable situations, it allowed them to have fun, laugh and let their guard down for a brief moment. They made new friends, met children who had been through similar experiences and enabled them to engage in a positive and safe activity without being anxious.

Days out like this enhance children’s self-esteem and confidence, provides them with positive childhood memories and improves their personal and educational development.

These are great opportunities for older, previous SAFE! clients to support younger service users. This allows them to gain experiences and skills for the future and empowers them by giving back and helping others.

The impact of our support on young people, their families and wider community is great.
Service users report greater levels of confidence, feeling safer, higher levels of well-being and less social isolation. They also suffer fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress and move towards a return to education/work.

With this funding we could run a full programme of group activities to complement our 1-to-1 service. This would include a summer residential for 20 young victims of crime as well as six day trips during school holidays for 15 young people each, and 2 consultation events to ensure that young people are involved in planning and developing both support services and additional activities. The residential would include team building and challenging activities designed to build confidence and encourage young people to take appropriate risks, step-out of their comfort zones and overcome obstacles together as well as offering opportunities for peer support. We would also like to organise some activity days through the year, so that we can engage more of the young people supported by SAFE! in challenging, fun and problem-solving activities, to stretch them and increase confidence. Activity days would enable us to reach out to more of the young people we work with, targeting certain days to different age groups, and offering a range of activities to suit different children. In total this project would directly benefit 134 young people.

SAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime

Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

SAFE! does amazing work supporting vulnerable young people. I see how young people overcome their fears and struggles and move on from the situations they've been in. Many return to volunteer, supporting younger service users gaining new skills and experiences which will help them as they move on.
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