Our Young People: Our Community

As The Avenues has grown and developed over the years, we have taken care to never lose sight of the unique place we occupy in our community.  While membership numbers have increased, and our delivery programme has blossomed, we have been conscious that alongside the varied activities and expert youth work we provide, we must also consider how we can develop our young people, helping them to use their skills and talents to feed back into The Avenues community.

Of course, this makes sense for us as a charity, but it also creates the conditions for our young people to see the huge amount they can offer.  We believe if we can provide a platform for them to realise this, to use their voices and communicate their ideas, then we can be more than just a youth club.  We can contribute to meaningful change, forging connections in our community, putting our young people at the centre of these change mechanisms.

With this in mind we run a number of programmes that are designed to meet a need amongst our membership, but also leverage the unique qualities of our young people, helping them be agents of change and empowering them to support the next wave of Avenues members.

Here is a brief outline of the projects that we deliver that help contribute to this work:

Level 1 youth worker training

This 39-week project gives 10 of our older members the opportunity to train to achieve a Level 1 Youth Worker qualification.  A mix of workplace and classroom learning, the course has seen incredible results with 12 of our current youth work team former graduates of the programme.

With modules on safeguarding, diversity awareness, conflict management, and mental health awareness along with 2 weeks of paid on-the-job training it has proved to be an absolute bedrock of our delivery.  It genuinely gives our young people a stake in the future of our club and a path to a potential career.  The Level 1 training programme has been running since 2019 and is consistently over-subscribed.

Email:  hello@avenues.org.uk to sign-up for the next course.

Volunteering

A feeder project into the Level 1 training, our Volunteer Project gives 8 young people each year the opportunity to experience what it takes to become part of our youth work team and contribute to the Avenues community and the eco-system of our wider community.  With a social action component, our Volunteer Programme is often the first time some of our members have been given real responsibility and trusted to act autonomously, while simultaneously giving back to the local community.

Mentoring

Our mentoring project sees qualified mentors work one to one with young people who might benefit from the bespoke nature of this work.  Delivered in 3 cohorts of 8 over our 24 weeks of programming, ‘Avenues Mentoring’ has had huge success as our mentors meet our mentees where they are, working empathically on the areas of need identified. Following this work, we often see the mentees move forward with more confidence into their Avenues experience, better able to contribute and connect within the club.

Avenues Wellbeing Champions

New for 2024, The Avenues Wellbeing Champions project is an innovative new skills scheme which combines mental health awareness training, peer mentoring and social action.  Designed for our 13-18 year olds, it sees 2 cohorts of 8 young people complete a 6 week training, followed by peer mentoring work through our summer programme. The project culminates in a social action project, designed and delivered by the young people to support better equity in the community.

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