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AVA Young People s Participation Project South Yorkshire. End of Project Report March 2016 Chilypep

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AVA Young People s Participation Project South Yorkshire End of Project Report March 2016 Chilypep chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 1 23/02/ :15:19 Acknowledgements We would like to say a huge thank
AVA Young People s Participation Project South Yorkshire End of Project Report March 2016 Chilypep chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 1 23/02/ :15:19 Acknowledgements We would like to say a huge thank you to the following organisations who have worked alongside us to deliver the Sheffield and Rotherham AVA project: Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) Sheffield Young Women s Housing Project Vida Sheffield Rotherham Rise Rotherham Integrated Youth Support Service Sheffield Voluntary Sector Children and Young People s Domestic Abuse Network Together Women Project We would also like to thank those organisations and groups who have supported us during the project: Sheffield Womens Equality Hub and Violence Against Women and Girls sub group Sheena Amos Youth Trust NSPCC EDEN Film Productions Park Academy School Haven House Sheffield Futures Taking Stock Project and Young Advisors Sheffield DACT Sheffield City Council The project has only been possible through strong partnership work with other organisations who have worked together to support young people to be involved and shared their expertise and resources. The partnership with AVA has brought extensive experience and support, and will mean that young people s voices will be heard at a national as well as local level. The Young Women s Housing Project, Rotherham Rise and IYSS have supported the project from the beginning and workers have been involved throughout. We have also benefited greatly from the involvement and support of members of the Voluntary Sector Children and Young People s Domestic Abuse Network who have been the project steering group. We would also like to thank Mary Crowder who volunteered on the project for almost three years, and whose commitment, expertise, help and support was invaluable to staff and young people Most of all we would like to say a big thank you to the young people and women who took part in the project. Domestic abuse can be a difficult subject to talk about and your willingness to take part in the project activities and share your experiences made this report possible thank you! This project was funded by The Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. A huge thank you to The Free Radicals, a Sheffield band who held a fundraising gig to raise additional funding for the project 2 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 2 23/02/ :15:20 Background Chilypep is a nationally registered charity based in Sheffield where the majority of our work has taken place. We take a strengths based relational approach, empowering young people to meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives and build their social capital, focusing on areas of high disadvantage and marginalised communities of interest, identity and belonging, as well as those furthest from services and support. We support young people who face additional barriers and whose voices are rarely heard, and our work priorities are based on the needs and issues identified by young people. Over the last 5 years, our work is recognised as good practice by organisations including Paul Hamlyn Foundation, through our partnership in the Sheffield Right Here pilot, NHS England and Yorkshire and Humber Youth Work Unit, and has influenced local and national participation practice. Young people have told us we have had a positive impact on them, including: their sense of citizenship and belonging through volunteering and supporting others; improving mental health and emotional well-being by building resilience, and reducing stigma and isolation through group work, mentoring and befriending; increasing education, training and employment prospects, by providing accredited and informal training programmes, and developing personal and social skills; improving their relationships with family, friends and others, and within and between communities, through peer support, personal growth, communication skills, increased confidence and self-esteem; and increasing their capacity to respect and embrace difference, by building understanding and tolerance. In 2013 Chilypep were invited by the national women and girls organisation AVA to develop a Peer Educators participation project with them as part of a wider pilot project across the UK. Introduction The AVA Young People s Peer Educators Participation Project (AVA-YPP) was a pilot project across four areas of the UK, for young people who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse, or really care about the issue and want to improve things for young people affected by it. It aimed to develop participative models of work that would support the wellbeing of young people affected by violence and abuse, raise awareness about the issues surrounding abuse and improve the services children and young people receive. The project was led by AVA, with Chilypep as the main delivery partner, and was funded by The Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. The project ran over a three-year period from 2013 to 2016, and evaluated by The University of Bedfordshire across the UK. I didn t know the signs of Domestic Violence before it progresses but now I do - but if I d known before maybe I wouldn t have got in a Domestic Violence situation. Peer Educator 3 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 3 23/02/ :15:20 Summary of project The overall aim of the AVA project was: To deliver therapeutic group work and leadership development to disadvantaged and marginalized young people in order to improve their understanding of domestic and sexual violence, to improve their emotional wellbeing and to empower them to influence peers and also to advocate for the needs of themselves and others within social care and education services. There were two strands of work: 1. To pilot a therapeutic group work model with young women across two project sites in Sheffield and Rotherham, focused on improving their emotional wellbeing and their awareness of domestic and sexual violence. This involved a six-week programme of workshops exploring the effects and impacts of domestic abuse, spotting the signs of abusive relationships and improving knowledge of services supporting victims. 2. To pilot a youth leadership development (Youth Educators) in four areas of the UK, to improve young people s emotional wellbeing, their understanding of domestic and sexual violence and that of their peers, whilst increasing opportunities for and the abilities of young people to influence services aimed at them in relation to domestic and sexual violence. This involved young people taking part in accredited leadership and campaigning training and developing an action plan to take forward in their area. This included young men and young women. Young people taking part were required to undertake Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising training before they took part in the leadership course, to ensure they had enough understanding of DSA in its wider context The main outcomes for the project that we hoped to achieve were that: 1. Young people directly taking part in the project report improved emotional wellbeing and peer support 2. Young people directly taking part in the project and their peers demonstrate improved understanding of domestic and sexual violence, accessing support and advising friends 3. Young people directly taking part in the project will increase their skills and abilities to influence the way young people s services are delivered Chilypep role was to coordinate the Youth Educator Panel across Sheffield and Rotherham, and deliver the ASDAN accredited leadership training across four of the sites of South Yorkshire, Cambridge, Sutton and Newham. Unfortunately, Newham were unable to take part, as the young people had not done Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising training. 4 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 4 23/02/ :15:20 Leadership Training across the pilot sites Aim: For young people to acquire the skills and confidence needed to start leading the development of an action group in their local area Topics covered included: Young People s Rights, needs and issues in relation to Domestic and Sexual Abuse Representing and involving others Exploring diversity and equality of opportunity Public speaking and confidence building Running campaigns, and setting up Action groups Identifying the issues and priorities for young people and what action they can and want to take Project Planning/Action Planning Running Meetings (how often, structure, practical arrangements) Number of Youth Educators ASDAN awards: Area Personal and Social Leadership Awards Development Awards South Yorkshire Cambridge Sutton Total The sessions were delivered across three areas each with different groups of young people. Cambridge and Sutton were delivered as residentials and the South Yorkshire group as a Two Day Training Programme, which was run in both Sheffield and Rotherham. The group s action plans are summarized below: Sutton s Youth Educators were a group from a local Pupil Referral Unit and local youth group. The PRU group made a film about the effects of Domestic Abuse, while the youth group had an Action Plan titled Picture Perfect. It aimed to campaign for a change in size, and shape of mannequins in shop windows. Their aim was to inform young people that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. The Cambridge group was from a Pupil referral unit. They designed and made a film that showed the impact of domestic abuse on young people. 5 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 5 23/02/ :15:22 The South Yorkshire Programme The AVA project in South Yorkshire launched with an event for professionals working with young people, to engage and involve them and the young people they worked with in the project. Young people who were already volunteering at Chilypep developed a presentation for the event and delivered this to attendees. Following this, young people were recruited to the group from across the area at information and induction events at which workers from across the statutory and voluntary sectors were invited to bring along any young people they had who may be interested in joining the project. It was decided that only young people who were already receiving services or support from other agencies would be invited, and that their workers needed to agree to attend the first few sessions and offer ongoing support outside of the group sessions. This was in case the young people were triggered by some of the content or activity, and needed extra support from people they had strong trusting relationships with and was particularly important at the early stages of their engagement. At the first session, it was an all-female group, and after much discussion, they decided that they wanted it to remain as such. Other pieces of work, such as a film project, have included young men. The young women began by completing training sessions around the issue of domestic and sexual abuse; these were delivered as fortnightly group sessions. The group then progressed on to completing the ASDAN leadership award. It became apparent that trying to involve young people in one group from Rotherham and Sheffield was unmanageable. A separate programme was developed in Rotherham in year two, although one girl from Rotherham chose to continue with the Sheffield Group. Through the leadership programme the group developed their own action plan and we then supported and worked with the group to achieve the goals set out in the action plan. Over the three years, the group membership has changed with some leaving for university and others leaving the area. However, many have stayed involved with AVA project and one Youth Educators has begun a role as a volunteer with Chilypep. The group that remains has stayed true to the initial action plan and has found the project has naturally evolved into other areas and opportunities. We have worked hard to maintain links across Sheffield and Rotherham collaborating with projects including Young Women s Housing Project, Haven House, Rotherham Women s Refuge, IYSS in Rotherham and Together Women Project. 6 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 6 23/02/ :15:23 Domestic Abuse Awareness Training The first stage of the project for the Youth Educators was to complete the domestic abuse training sessions. Originally, we had planned to deliver six sessions, but this increased to ten as we recognised that all the young people had different levels of understanding and experience of domestic abuse, and some needed more time to explore the issues and their feelings and responses. In the training, the group had the opportunity to explore their understanding and feelings about domestic and sexual abuse, and begin to talk about what they want to influence and change. They covered a range of topics including definitions of DSA; Child, Early and Forced Marriage; Female Genital Mutilation; teenage/peer relationships; women s rights; and barriers to getting help and support. The group reviewed the resources available from the This is Abuse campaign including the Expect Respect toolkit and developed how them for use within a peer education setting. A turning point in the group s development was a session where everyone (young people and staff) took part in an exercise that allowed the group to anonymously share their experiences of DSA either as children or/and as young people/adults. The group realized they all shared similar experiences and this allowed them to relate to each other more and feel more comfortable together. There was a noticeable increase in group members participation and engagement since this exercise, as well as a sense of a deeper bond and stronger relationships between the group members. Leadership Training Over a series of sessions and full days, the group completed a 30-hour Leadership and campaigning course. Following completion of the DSA and leadership training the group created their campaign aims and targets, which they called Protect, Promote, Improve, and wrote their action plan. It helped me to realise how early it can start and signs of abuse. Peer Educator They named their group YWAVE (Young Women Against Violence Empowered), and designed their own logo. The group agreed on two streams of work to meet their campaign aims. 1. The development and delivery of Healthy Relationship Workshops to young people in schools and colleges, and local youth groups and settings 2. A research and consultation project, speaking to young people and professionals in Sheffield about the needs of and services available to children and young people affected by domestic abuse, and produce a report to be presented to local decision makers. 7 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 7 23/02/ :15:23 What young people have been doing as Peer Educators! July 2014: Houses of Parliament trip As part of their leadership and campaign training, the YWVAE group was invited to attend a trip to Houses of Parliament with local MP Paul Blomfield. Six young people took part in the trip, which included a tour of the Houses of Parliament and a question and answer session with Paul Blomfield. Each member of the group asked Paul a question related to domestic abuse services for young people in Sheffield. The trip was amazing; I got to speak to people about the work that the group was doing and even got to know some very strong minded lovely people. Peer Educator November 2014: Awareness raising session The first awareness raising session was delivered to Shelter s Girls Group. The session was delivered by a Youth Educator and supported by staff; the sessions covered understanding healthy relationships and spotting signs of abusive behavior. The Peer Educator received positive feedback from both, following the first workshop it was suggested that the session could be improved by adding in personal account experience of domestic abuse. The second session was delivered to a mixed group of young people living at Aldine House Secure Unit and was run in partnership with VIDA. The Youth Educator took on board feedback from the Shelter session and spoke and answered questions around her experiences of growing up with domestic abuse. The young people in the group found this really powerful. 8 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 8 23/02/ :15:23 Making Our Voices Heard! November 2014 Sexual Exploitation Question Panel The YWAVE group was affected by the local news reports of the scale of sexual exploitation taking place in Rotherham when the Jay report was released. They wanted to do something so they initiated and coordinated a Big Conversation between young people and the local authorities in Sheffield. Five meetings were held with eight interested young people from YWAVE and other youth groups across the City. They developed their knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding CSE and then wrote questions they wanted to ask the panel. The event at the Town Hall brought together 11 young people from across Sheffield (2 from the planning group and 9 Young Advisors) to participate in a question and answer session with local decision makers, including councilors, police, health and social care and representatives from the safeguarding board. The event fed into Sheffield City Council s own enquiry into sexual exploitation within the city and featured in their report. All the stuff that s been going on in Rotherham around sexual exploitation is really affecting their project and the young women are clearly asking about it and wanting to hold events and talk to policymakers about how they can improve things locally They ve come down and spoken to their MP at the Houses of Parliament, they re putting on a charity gig night with bands to raise money. Worker June 2015 Exploring Domestic Abuse and Sexual Exploitation in Teenage Years Conference The Rotherham Group After recruiting a group of young people from Rotherham College and Rotherham Youth Service we delivered the Awareness Raising and Leadership training again in year two They also presented the findings from a consultation with students in Rotherham they had carried out as part of the research and consultation project they were doing from their campaign action plan. The conference was attended by 120 people, and included guest speakers Jo Sharpen from AVA, David Gadd from the University of Manchester, and Yasmin Rehan. Feedback from delegates showed that the audio recordings had significantly influenced their understanding of young women s experiences of services. 9 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 9 23/02/ :15:24 Healthy Relationship Workshops and Evaluations May 2015 Hillsborough and Peak College Chilypep were invited in to Hillsborough College to talk about the projects we are running across the City, and raise awareness for some of the issues they are working on. As part of the day peer educators promoted the AVA project and delivered the Healthy Relationship Awareness Raising Session to the students. In total 139 young people took part in the workshops and completed an evaluation form regarding the session. We used the day to promote the opportunities available for young people to get involved with the AVA project and had students sign up if they would like to get further involved. Do you think you know more about Teenage Relationship Abuse now? Not at all A little bit Yes definitely Do you think you know more about where to get help from if you or a friend were in danger of abuse now? Not at all A little bit Yes definitely Do you think you know more about what a healthy relationship is now? Not at all A little bit Yes definitely 10 chilypep-ava-3-yr-report_v3.indd 10 23/02/ :15:25 July 2015 National Citizenship Scheme workshops: Peer educators prepared and delivered a 90-minute workshop delivered to four groups of young people as part of the NCS Training Programme. One of our Peer Educators supported by a staff member delivered these. In total 74 young people, aged took part in the workshops. The session aimed to increase knowledge around healthy relationships and understanding of abuse. Here is some of our Feedback: 56% Felt that they now kn
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