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Improving the life chances

kemp welch partnership

Improving the life chances of Looked After Young People leaving Care using a multi-agency partnership approach

OUR AIMS

Our project aims to turn young lives around and thus to begin to break the intergenerational cycle of underachievement and social breakdown within the community. `We are now planning the 2009/10 project (our third year of the KWP project) when we shall be working with a group of 10-12 young people aged 18 who are making the transition from Care to independent living. These young people are from the 100-150 most ‘hard-to-reach’, vulnerable and disenfranchised young people in Care in the Southend community who have reached the end of their Care career and who are not in education, employment or training when they are selected. Most have a record of offending and anti-social behaviour and are all damaged by their previous life experience of abuse, neglect and trauma and some have been through many different foster homes.

WHY THE PROJECT AROSE

The project arose as a result of the generous offer of the Essex Fire and Rescue Service to second a Senior Fire Officer, with youth work experience, to work with the 2007/8 High Sheriff of Essex, Diana Kemp-Welch, on a project towards the aim of her year “Turning young lives around”.

THE PROJECT

The project is broken down into 4 key stages to aid the development of the young person over a period of nine months – 1) Engagement, 2) Empowerment,

3) Education and finally 4) Employment.

During the project the young people participate in a number of vocational and educational courses e.g. outdoor pursuits at Maes-y-Lade in Wales; the Essex Fire & Rescue Service ‘Firebreak’ course; courses run by the Prince’s Trust, and towards the conclusion of the project they have the opportunity for one week’s voluntary work in Romania with the Smiles Foundation. We also offer the chance to attain the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

KWP employ a full-time Project Coordinator who facilitates the work with the young people and we also offer a volunteer Mentoring scheme which offers each young person a trained Mentor who meets regularly with each participant.

The young people appreciate the benefits of a consistent adult in their lives and that they gain a sense of belonging to the group.

At the end of the project it is anticipated that each young person will have achieved a number of challenges both personal and vocational, culminating in accredited qualifications that should enable them to pursue a beneficial and fulfilling life both for themselves and society.

PARTNERS

There are 12 agencies involved working with us on the KWP project with the lead being taken by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Other partners include the Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Southend YMCA, South East Essex College, Prospects College, Crown College, South East Essex PCT, Southend Connexions, Coles Driving School, Southend Women’s Aid, Southend United Community Education Trust, the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation and Essex Police.

COST

It is also worth making the point that participation in our 9-month project at a cost of just under £7,000 per young person represents a considerable saving in money when compared with the cost of keeping a child in Care which can cost upwards of £150,000 and youth custody costing over £50,000 a year.

CHARITABLE STATUS

On 22nd April 2009 KWP became a designated project under the Young Concern Trust, a registered Charity and company with limited liability (Charity No. 298984, Company Limited by Guarantee No. 235097).

QUOTES

Everybody will be made to feel welcome and part of the group…..they will all challenge themselves and by the end they will feel like they belong to something.”

I wouldn’t have got through if everybody had not pulled me through and encouraged me….. a fabulous day of teamwork.”

I feel very happy and proud of myself.”

The happiest holiday I’ve had – I’ve never laughed as much.”

Being able to relax without their normal peer pressure and without having to be anyone they don’t want to be has helped them grow as people.”

I can see the TEAM more now.” – Together Everyone Achieves More

Everyone has been pushed to do things that they possibly wouldn’t have done before.”

If you feel you can offer support to this project please contact :

KEMP-WELCH PARTNERSHIP

C/O LCT PO BOX 59

Queensway House

Essex Street

Southend

SS2 5TB

Patron : Lady Kemp-Welch

Project Coordinator : Jason Orgles

E-mail: jasonorgles-kwp@hotmail.co.uk

Phone: 07518 011222

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