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Annual Report

Projects with partners

Legendary Community Club

It was fantastic to partner with Legendary Community Club over the pandemic as they provided food support for local families and young people within the clubs. Young people benefited immensely from receiving a meal during a session given the financial pressure experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact it has had within our communities.

Lewisham Young Writers 

In June 2020, Youth First partnered with Spread the Word to provide a summer creative writing programme, a writing activity booklet and a care package. The package included, ‘High Rise Mystery’ - a fiction detective book by Sharna Jackson, a tennis ball, a pack of cards, a frisbee, a notepad, instructions for card games and ball games and finally a postcard with the details of local and national support services available to young people. Youth Worker and volunteers packed a total of 1,000 care packages. 

The creative writing programme was delivered via one and a half hour Zoom sessions, twice a week for three weeks, totalling six virtual sessions and nine hours of delivery. Sessions were led by industry creative writers and artists, supported by professional youth workers.

One self-isolating young person said about receiving the care package, “It has kept me busy and I have been able to play games with my family.” A Youth Worker from Woodpecker Youth Club also said “The young people were so excited to collect their package. Not only this but they demonstrated real empathy when bringing to mind friends or others in their household who would really be encouraged by & benefit from the package. The young people really couldn’t wait to get theirs which was quite emotional to see.”

Staying Safe in Lewisham - What’s the Risk?

Staying safe in Lewisham is a 3 year project (October 2019 to September 2022) funded by the GLA Young Londoner's Fund to deliver personal safety workshops with over 500 young people at risk of exclusion through youth clubs in Lewisham. It covers themes including substance misuse, knife crime, sex and healthy relationships, online safety and emotional wellbeing.

Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of the majority of face-to-face sessions the outcomes from this year are difficult to measure. Still, the Staying Safe in Lewisham programme delivered 154 virtual sessions as well as 12 workshops during lockdown (following NYA guidance), seeing 57 young people complete the programme.

The Carnival Programme

The Woodpecker Carnival Programme is a 3-year project (January 2020 - December 2022) funded by the Greater London Authority’s ‘Young Londoner's Fund’ to engage young people at risk of involvement in crime in a preventive programme of carnival-themed workshops.

This included creative workshops in Drama, Textiles, Dance, Gymnastics and Music Production. Activities in the sessions build towards a celebratory carnival event each year.

Workshops took place at Woodpecker Youth Club (or via Zoom during lockdown), and were designed to build young people’s resilience and self-esteem. They provided a safe space for young people to build stronger peer relationships and receive support from expert youth workers.