Following on from a successful school based intervention with a group of year seven pupils, a school in North Liverpool decided to further utilise the expertise of Positive Futures, this time with a group of year ten boys who were felt to be at risk of joining a gang or criminal behaviour.

After meeting with representatives from the school, there were several topics identified that the Positive Futures team would work on with the young people including drugs and alcohol awareness, sexual health awareness, racism/hate crime, gun & knife crime and criminal exploitation.

Anti-social behaviour was the second largest type of crime in Liverpool between May 2018 and April 2019 according to figures published by Police.uk, with drugs and possession of weapons making the top 10 most common crimes in the city. Whilst these figures cover the whole of Liverpool and all of the population in that area, Positive Futures are aware of the risks to young people of committing a criminal offence, and so school based intervention which addresses this is key for trying to prevent young people from going down that path.

The first few sessions that Positive Futures ran with the group of boys focused around drugs, alcohol and sexual behaviour and whilst the group initially tried to assert themselves over the staff from Positive Futures by shocking them with their comments, the Youth Workers were soon able to start develop trusting relationships with the young people. They even requested that some content covered in the first couple of session be revisited by staff, so that these issues could be explored in more detail.

As the sessions went on, several of the members seemed to become quite receptive to other ways of dealing with crime or anti-social behaviour, with many acknowledging that reporting it is better than trying to deal with it themselves. The Positive Futures team also covered signposting, empowering the young people to seek further advice and guidance about substance misuse and abuse should they need it.

Whilst running these sessions, the team from Positive Futures ensured that the staff from the school were kept informed of progress and outcomes from the sessions, further enhancing the collaborative partnership way of working favoured by the youth organisation.

School based intervention is just one of several ways that Positive Futures engages with young people in North Liverpool. Through their delivery, they engage in various youth settings and out on the streets through their detached work. They have also recently opened a new youth space on Tetlow Way, which provides a flexible space for a wide variety of activities including cooking, arts and crafts and games. Beyond this, the youth charity also offers a targeted one-to-one support service, with referrals often coming from partners and external agencies such as CAHMS.

Find out more about Positive Futures work by visiting their website.

Are you an experienced Youth Development Worker or are currently training within the Youth and Community setting? If so, we’d love to hear from you!