The Healthy Futures project recognises that constructive, dynamic sessions that deal with issues such as emotional wellbeing, health interventions for smoking, alcohol, drugs, sexual health, healthy lifestyles, training, education and employment, hand in hand with trusted relationships fostered by mentors and coaches work as part of the solution to the prevention of a range of problems commencing and/or escalating with our young people today.
Centre Spot have successfully completed our Big Lottery funded Healthy Futures Project. The project embarked on engaging young people from the Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton areas in enjoyable positive activities that sought to:
- develop their social skills and emotional health making them better able to cope with the challenges of adolescence and the transition to adulthood.
- increase confidence, physical health and wellbeing resulting in improved life chances and learning opportunities, especially in young people who are at risk of drink or drugs, or are smokers.
- tackle antisocial behaviour enabling the young people to become more active citizens and providing opportunities for them to work in the community.
On completion of the project, which reached over 150 young people over a two year period, mentors reported that 64 youngsters had achieved an entry level sports qualification, and 15 had commenced volunteering opportunities in the community.
Other achievements boasted by the projects participants included those who continued to reduce their smoking habits , even when not in attendance, and were able to talk to the coaches about their improved health and fitness levels as a result. Many of the youngsters who recorded their fitness levels at the outset, monitored them throughout and were able to see noticeable improvements in their overall fitness as evidenced by the fitness testing.
Youngsters who would normally have been unable to work in groups, or as part of a team were able to take part in group discussions, Steering Committee Meetings and work with the other participants to plan a Final Event, a celebration of the achievement throughout the 12 week projects. A ‘big brother’ approach was fostered in many of the projects with the older particpants helping to nurture and guide the younger attendees, leading discussions in areas such as anti social behaviour, and training and education. The mentors commented that when backed up with personal stories from other participants, the support and advice that was being provided, was given greater value. This in turn enabled the mentors to work with the older individuals on identifying their skills and strengths, and work towards pinpointing possible career paths.
Manny Abbeyquaye; Centre Spot Director said
“I has been a very enjoyable project, and we are pleased to have exceeded our expectation. We are grateful to have received the funding from the Big Lottery, and equally thankful for the help we received in delivering the project particularly from Start Again CIC and Sandwell Young Peoples Service. The project notes will soon be available on our website so that it can be replicated elsewhere”.