Connect is a mentoring project that works with vulnerable young people in the community, providing them with an alternative world view, linking them to support and engaging them in more positive activities.
The project will engage and provide mentoring to 15 vulnerable young people identified by the Police, who are at risk of exploitation, grooming and involvement in gang criminality; assisting them to maximise opportunities in education, apprenticeships and employment.
The young people referred to connect benefit from access to a personal mentor with similar experiences who can understand their situation and provide sound advice and alternatives to their current trajectory. They occasionally have access to mental health support through Switch Up’s Counsellor, and get further support with engaging with education, training or even employment, either through returning to mainstream schools or through Switch Up’s links to over 30 local employers. An addition to this, an estimated 100 people per year receive “ToolBox” talks, raising their awareness, informing them of the consequences of involvement in certain activities. They are then able to share this information to a wider network of people.
As part of this approach, all of the participants are encouraged to engage in sporting activities and to become members of the Nottingham School of Boxing, taking part in work that promotes fitness, healthy lifestyles and opportunities to develop confidence, self-esteem, tolerance and discipline in a safe and inclusive environment.
To find out more about Switch Up CIC and , visit: http://www.switch-up.org.uk/
Switch Up can still go ahead and take referrals from the police. All staff are already working remotely with existing clients by phone and video, and they will deliver the project as such.