Options 4 Change

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£18,000 over 3 years

Options 4 Change is a Lambeth based charitable organisation working with children and young people aged 7 to 25, their families and networks, offering development projects that inspire academic and social aspirations.

Lambeth is one of the 20 most deprived boroughs in England, and contains some of the most deprived wards. Over a third of children in the borough are growing up in poverty.

They work in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Lambeth with activities for children and young people affected by academic under achievement, gangs, peer violence and anti-social behaviour. Their work is undertaken independently or in partnerships with interventions developed to tackle disadvantage and crime.

The Turnaround Project has a successful track record of influencing young people with dysfunctional and complex lifestyles to meaningfully engage to achieve more for themselves. This project was recently funded by The William Wates Memorial Trust to develop a tool kit for their practitioners and community partners to share a practice and maximize positive outcomes. The kit will also extend young people’s participation in the Turnaround Project to access education, career and personal development skills for life.

Website: www.options4change.org.uk

End of Year 1 Progress Report – November 2014

Options 4 Change work with children and young people aged 7 to 25, their families and networks to offer development projects that inspire academic and social aspirations. They work in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Lambeth with activities for children and young people affected by academic under achievement, gangs, peer violence and anti-social behaviour. The work is undertaken independently or in partnership with interventions developed to tackle disadvantage and crime.

What we did

Provided a 3 year grant of £18,000. £8k 1st year, £6k 2nd Year 2, £4k 3rd Year.

What they did with the money

The WWMT grant was used to fund the Turnaround Project which aims to improve the delivery method, quality assure material and information used in workshops and other engagement with young people seeking to have positive change in their lives.

This included:

  • Research, writing and design of a study manual
  • 4 workshops with staff, volunteers and service users to plan, select contents and teaching method
  • Service user and partner evaluations consultation and report on manual
  • 5 workshops with service users to test contents of manual
  • Volunteer expenses and participant welfare (including food travel)
  • Administration costs related to project

An additional amount has been reserved in addition to the funds allocated from WWMT to print and launch the manual.

What they delivered

  • 7 young people were directly involved in the creation of the manual. 2 of them volunteered to support the professional team with a number of research and admin tasks.
  • 6 young people were indirectly involved via community partners who supported the evaluation of both the workshops and the manual.
  • 3 community partners and 4 of their service users contributed to test run and workshops.
  • Other projects over the period of the fund involved 240 service users of which 47 were involved in other one to one structured interventions and 193 in group work and activities including a children’s summer project.

Measuring success

7 young people were directly engaged and 6 others from the community partners in the research, design features, sample runs during the writing of the manual. Milestones that were passed included.

  • he completion of a number of research tasks involving volunteers, young service users and welfare caseworkers.
  • Gather personal experiences in relation to the subject features from the participants who would not normally admit to their personal issues.
  • A manual was produced, competently, within the confines of the budget for an ambitious project. A team of voluntary and commissioned workers was used to design the manual to overcome budget and expertise costs issues.
  • An innovative took kit was produced to support a new model and way of working with service users as intended.
  • Delays and setbacks were overcome and managed to ensure that the manual was tested ahead of its printing to reduce risks in implementing it.

Summary

It was noticed that the young people wanted to have full engagement with the processes to complete the manual. Caseworkers feel that they now have a clear idea of how to work in unison on a number of social welfare, goal setting and personal development issues.

Workshop facilitators and partners are keen to share the kit in parts or whole to increase engagement and deal with many subjects that are relevant to their service users’ wellbeing and positive occupation in work or study.

  • They now have additional opportunities to work as individuals or as a group.
  • Involvement in the creation of the manual has allowed feelings of shared ownership of it.
  • They now have something visible to influence their peers to engage in our activities that the manual will be a key aspect of.
  • The volunteering opportunities that presented for two of the young people enabled Options 4 Change to give them a work and study reference which has enabled them to find work.

Other differences observed and evaluated were;

  • Increased confidence
  • Positive leadership
  • Skills gained to volunteer
  • Cohesive thinking in the workshops
  • Better attitudes towards certain aspects of their personal development

Jonny Wates

2016-12-05T10:13:28+00:00