Groundwork Pennine Lancashire is the biggest environmental charity in Lancashire. Our purpose is to build sustainable communities, working with partners to help improve people’s lives, their prospects and potential and the places where they live, work and play.
Groundwork is a social business; there are no shareholders to distribute profits to. Instead we offer social dividends to support the local community in a variety of innovative ways, delivering programmes of work in education, business support, youth work, urban regeneration and community development.
Our Reach Out programme aims to help young people participate in their communities, bridging the generation gap, building confidence and self-esteem. We encourage young people, particularly those who are vulnerable and at risk, to become more involved in the place they live and help them play a full and active role within their local community.
We deliver a wide range of programmes and activities providing disaffected young people aged 8-25 with the skills, capacity and motivation to help address issues that affect their health, wellbeing and personal development. In doing this, we aim to reduce crime and nuisance/risk taking behaviour amongst young people, involving their families, the wider community and local partner agencies to ensure the programme adds value to existing initiatives.
The Community Space Challenge project targets local young people who attend Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Youth Inclusion Project. The young people we are engaging with have been identified by key partners to be included in the ‘ID 50’ (core group) and will be in a range of negative risk factors including • Alcohol and Drug Abuse • Teenage Pregnancy • Anti Social Behaviour • Exclusion from School • Unemployment • NEET • Abuse & Domestic Violence.
The young people will decide on three initiatives which they feel will improve their local environment and create benefits for the communities who live there. To date two initiatives have been decided upon. The first is a garden project at Mill Hill Park, where the young people plan to grow vegetables, fruit and plants. The second is to introduce alleygates to an untidy alleyway in their local area. Alleygates are lockable steel gates that can be installed at the end of back alley-ways in order to restrict access, increase feelings of security and create a communal area for the residents of adjacent houses.
Groundwork currently installs alleygates to alley-ways to vulnerable properties across Blackburn and Darwen and the young people identified an area that they felt would greatly benefit from such an improvement. Once the alleygates have been installed they will be furbished with plants and vegetables grown at Mill Hill Park by the young people and with benches and planters that have also been built by the young people.
By renovating streets which look untidy and unkempt and areas that are currently overgrown, derelict and disused, young people will gain a sense of ownership as they start to see postitive transformations and see that they can make a difference to the areas they live. These initiatives will allow young people to gain new skills and develop their knowledge. By involving the older members of the community we also hope to use them as mentors and encourage them to transfer years of skills and experiences which may eventually be lost.
They will also record their progress and record this in a newsletter to be distributed within their local communities highlighting the positive activities that they are engaged in.
The young people will receive accreditation for their involvement within the project through a range of AQA’s and will also be acknowledged for their achievements through a small rewards ceremony at the end of each year. Partners will include: • Twin Valley Homes – Registered Social Landlord • Lifeline – Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service • Mill Hill Youth Inclusion Project • Blackburn Rovers Community Trust – Managing YIP • CXL – Connexions services offering IAG support to young people • Neighbourhood Management • Youth Offending Team • Police • Young People’s Service • 150 beneficiaries p>