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Racing to School
collaborating with Youth Unity #horseracing

Racing to School is pleased to be collaborating with Youth Unity to engage young people in hard-to-reach communities, offering our free interactive and healthy outdoor Schools’ Education Programme to those pupils and their schools that might otherwise face financial barriers to accessing outdoor learning opportunities. Using racing’s venues to provide this unique learning experience, our fully inclusive and accessible activity days support the learning of a diverse young people through access to the assets and opportunities of horseracing.

Through this collaboration we aspire to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people across Great Britain; sparking a lightbulb moment and what we hope will be a lifelong interest in the sport. 

Racing to School is an education charity that aims to inspire young minds through the provision of free, interactive, and healthy outdoor educational events for schools, staged at a variety of racing venues. They achieved another record year in 2023, delivering 410 events across the country and engaging a diverse group of over 16,200 young people.

The charity works with young people with special educational needs and over one third of their output is targeted to engage those from inner city, rural and deprived areas. The staff have a range of industry backgrounds including former jockeys who have retrained to develop their second careers, and their experience is invaluable as the charity introduces horseracing as an accessible sport to young people.

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Case Study 9


Case Study 9 was referred to Youth Unity by Family Solutions due to her prolonged absence from formal education, spanning over a year. The referral was prompted by concerns regarding Case Study 9’s diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), coupled with underlying emotional and behavioral challenges. Additionally, Case Study 9’s recent diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and past history of substance misuse underscored the complexities of her situation.

Case Study 9 and her older sister, CS9 entered the care system at ages 3 and 4, respectively, owing to parental substance misuse. Initially fostered, they later transitioned under the guardianship of family members following a legal process culminating in a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). Notably, a younger brother is also under care, albeit by a separate foster family, while two older siblings stem from their mother’s previous relationship.

Case Study 9: Initial contact was established with Case Study 9 and her family in early November. Accompanied by a colleague who facilitated the introduction, I commenced building a constructive rapport with Case Study 9. I initiated our engagement by elucidating the scope of our mentorship and youth work relationship, seeking clarity on her expectations. Case Study 9 articulated her desire for candid communication, the opportunity to discuss her concerns, and the inclusion of enjoyable activities within our interaction. Subsequently, I meticulously outlined the protocols governing safeguarding and confidentiality, ensuring her comprehensive understanding. Furthermore, I assured Case Study 9 that any necessary disclosures to the safeguarding lead would occur transparently, in accordance with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In pursuit of understanding Case Study 9’s circumstances, I prompted her to share insights into her current situation and personal background. This dialogue facilitated a nuanced comprehension of her needs, enabling tailored support strategies. Notably, Case Study 9 disclosed recent diagnoses of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which profoundly impacted her emotional state. Expressing feelings of anger, hurt, and fear, she expressed concerns regarding the perceived limitations imposed by these diagnoses.

During interactions with Case Study 9’s guardians, who graciously welcomed our engagement, I gleaned invaluable contextual information. Conversations revealed the challenging circumstances precipitating Case Study 9’s placement under their care. Notably, the guardians articulated the adverse effects of the recent diagnoses on Case Study 9’s well-being and familial dynamics. Demonstrating unwavering dedication, the guardians actively participate in meetings concerning Case Study 9, alongside other family members. Their commitment reflects a profound sense of responsibility and love, underscoring the demanding nature of their caregiving role.

Interventions

During our weekly meetings, held either at her residence, in a café, or during beach walks, Case Study 9 (CS9) expressed interest in art, prompting her attendance at local art classes. Despite missing formal education for over a year due to past bullying and attacks, CS9 aspires to return to mainstream schooling, with a particular goal of attending her school prom. Moreover, she harbors ambitions of pursuing a career in fashion design, necessitating a reintegration into mainstream education to undertake her GCSEs.

CS9’s familial background reveals a history of substance misuse, leading to her and her older sister’s placement in foster care before being granted a Special Guardianship Order under their guardians’ care. Despite familial support, CS9’s journey is marked by challenges, including her recent diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which exacerbates her impulsivity and susceptibility to substance misuse.

Furthermore, CS9 grapples with complex emotional issues, including rejection sensitivity dysphoria, a symptom of ADHD, and recent suicidal ideation, requiring constant monitoring and support from her guardians. As CS9 navigates through therapy and educational support, it’s imperative to maintain open communication, uphold safeguarding protocols, and foster a sense of hope and resilience.

Moving forward, the focus remains on providing a safe and nurturing environment for CS9’s growth, emphasising the importance of self-esteem building, managing impulsive behaviours, and fostering healthy relationships. Additionally, acknowledging the need for levity and diversion from CS9’s challenges, a person-centered approach ensures her autonomy in steering conversations while addressing underlying familial tensions and rivalries constructively.

In summary, the journey with CS9 underscores the delicate balance between addressing immediate concerns and nurturing long-term aspirations. With unwavering dedication and a commitment to holistic support, the aim is to guide CS9 towards a future marked by resilience, self-discovery, and fulfillment.

YOUTH UNITY - FOOTBALL4iMPACT

FOOTBALL4iMPACT

Youth Unity has partnered with Sarah Lalaz & Paula Powell to take FOOTBALL4iMPACT to the next stage in developing this project long term. Our partnership will ensure it remains steadfast in its dedication to championing positive community engagement and social activism, placing a primary emphasis on empowering vulnerable youth by equipping them with tangible tools for a fulfilling life.

Project FOOTBALL4iMPACT is committed to reaching out to all young people, including those who are high achievers but may face limited opportunities.

We believe that every young person, regardless of their background or location, should have access to the resources and support needed to realise their potential and contribute positively to their communities. Our program is designed to provide these individuals with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive and become future leaders in their own right.

Through these initiatives, project FOOTBALL4iMPACT is not only working to deter young people from criminal paths but also to foster a sense of unity, support, and empowerment among them.

In addition, it’s crucial to recognise that not all young people in inner-city London are involved in criminality.

Many of them are high achievers with immense potential, yet they may face barriers and lack access to programs like FOOTBALL4iMPACT. These young individuals often find themselves overlooked, despite their talents and aspirations, simply due to their geographical and socio-economic circumstances.

The website dedicated to FOOTBALL4iMPACT has been designed and lead by the young people LINK

Visit our YouTube channel and see some of the amazing testimonals and media coverage of our pilot project

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Gratitude to the Jack Petchey Foundation: Empowering Young Lives in Limes Farm, Epping

A special acknowledgment to the Jack Petchey Foundation for their invaluable support, which has significantly enriched the experiences of young people in our Limes Farm project.

Their generous funding has played a role in enhancing our capabilities, allowing us to acquire essential equipment that amplifies the impact of our sessions.

The Jack Petchey Foundation’s commitment to empowering youth aligns seamlessly with our mission. With their support, we’ve been able to create an environment where young individuals not only discover their potential but are also equipped with the resources they need to thrive. The acquisition of new equipment has not only bolstered our sessions but has also provided a tangible representation of the Foundation’s dedication to investing in the future of our community.

Together, we stride towards a future where every young person in Limes Farm can realise their full potential and become leaders of positive change.

The Jack Petchey Foundation was set up to inspire and motivate young people across London and Essex by providing exciting projects and programmes for them to get involved in. We also recognise the outstanding achievements of today’s young people by awarding them for their hard work and positive impact in their community.

Awards to date

Recognition Award which enabled us to purchase more equipment, also help to cover the costs of food and refreshments at each session.

Leader Award, which was given to Simeon Dennis in recognition of his passion for helping the young people every week.

Our Young Person Award which was given to Tilly Austin, who decided to use the money to have a Halloween party and also to purchase more games.

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Stories Like Ours
films that can reach young people

These films act as more than just stories; they are powerful tools that speak directly to the hearts of young individuals, providing a visual backdrop to the empowering words shared

We are thrilled to announce that we now have access to three compelling intervention short films, aptly titled “Stories Like Ours.” These stories where given to us by Tom Watt, and the full endorsement goes to The ACED Project CIC.

These films serve as a powerful tool in our mission to connect with and inspire the young minds we engage with, particularly during our detached youth work sessions.

In these sessions, we focus on reaching out to hard-to-reach young individuals within our communities. “Stories Like Ours” aims to reignite a sense of connection and understanding among these youth, providing a platform for them to see reflections of their own experiences and challenges.

Moreover, these remarkable short films have been curated to play a crucial role in our efforts to educate young people about making informed life choices. The snippets you find here are just a glimpse into the impactful narratives that await.

If you’re intrigued and wish to delve deeper into the stories, we invite you to reach out. Consider this an open invitation to connect, and perhaps we can arrange a workshop to explore these films in a more immersive and engaging setting.

Let’s embark on a journey of storytelling, empathy, and positive change together. 🌟

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2023 Impact

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Boys

data since March 2023

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Girls

data since March 2023

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Professionals

data since March 2023

Our Impact since 2022/23

Our impact has been instrumental in reducing risks, enhancing safeguarding measures, and significantly improving assessment processes. We are deeply committed to equipping our clients with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed decisions, ultimately reducing risks not only to staff but also to other clients. 

The quality feedback we’ve received on our professional training initiatives, delivered to both statutory and non-statutory organisations, serves as compelling statistics attesting to our effectiveness. Our team of trainers and facilitators has a well-established track record, having successfully conducted certified sessions on behalf of SCBs (Safeguarding Children Boards) and statutory services, benefiting approximately 5,000 frontline staff from various agencies and services. 

Through meticulous results analysis and evaluation, we have observed a tangible reduction in risks, accompanied by improved learning outcomes, fortified safeguarding practices, and enhanced assessment procedures. Our unwavering passion lies in ensuring that both young people and professionals are better informed, thus bolstering their knowledge and minimising risks to young individuals. Moreover, we remain dedicated to providing elevated levels of support to further strengthen our impact on the communities we serve. 

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Empowering Youth through Serious Youth Violence and Gang Exit Mentoring

Serious Youth Violence, Gang Exit Mentor

Our dedicated and passionate advocate in the field of serious youth violence and gang exit work. With over 25 years of experience, he has been at the forefront of efforts to address and mitigate the impact of youth violence and gang-related issues within our communities. 

Having witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of youth violence, Wayne has committed his career to creating positive change and providing viable alternatives for at-risk youth. Wayne has worked tirelessly to design and implement intervention programs aimed at preventing youth involvement in gangs and supporting those seeking to exit this perilous lifestyle 

Serious Youth Violence mentor. Outcomes for the cohort of young people supported in last 18 months

At the end of the mentoring period we asked the cohort to complete a survey these are the questions and responses summarised. 

Whilst working with your support worker did you feel supported? 

Following the mentoring program and 1 2 1 interventions do feel you have learnt new techniques to cope with future problems and know where to get help if they need it. 

Following the mentoring program do you feel more resilient and confident? 

Do you feel you are now in a better position to make better informed safer choices for a prosperous life. 

How would you rate your experience working with Youth Unity Support Worker? 

No Data Found

No Data Found

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IMPACT: Detached Youth Work

Over the past ten months, our dedicated team at Youth Unity has immersed itself in detached youth work with an unwavering commitment and passion. This impact data summary aims to illuminate the transformative journey we’ve undertaken and the profound changes witnessed in the lives of the youth with whom we’ve engaged.

Partnership Work and Outreach Impact: The impact of our outreach programs extends beyond individual efforts, reflecting the collaborative essence of Youth Unity. By working in partnership with community safety within statutory organisations, we have strategically invested in the well-being and positive development of young people in hard-to-reach areas across London, Essex, and Kent. This collaborative approach not only addresses the unique challenges faced by these communities but also contributes significantly to the establishment of stronger, more resilient communities.

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Total Engaged

data since May 2023

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Boys

data since May 2023

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Girls

data since May 2023

No Data Found

No Data Found

Importance of Outreach:

Access to Support: Youth Unity outreach programs stands as a beacon of hope for young people residing in hard-to-reach areas, where traditional services may not be readily accessible. Recognising the unique challenges faced by these communities, our outreach efforts aim to bridge the gap between vulnerable youth and the resources they need. The provision ensures that support is available precisely where it is most needed.

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Insights from Our Team at Youth Unity

At Youth Unity, we take immense pride in the collaborative efforts of our dedicated team members. Recognising the importance of their perspectives and experiences, we recently conducted an in-house confidential survey to directly inquire about their feelings and sentiments towards working with us.

The responses we received have been overwhelmingly positive, reflecting a strong sense of camaraderie, shared commitment, and mutual respect within our team. It is heartening to see that our collective efforts are not only making a positive impact on the community but are also fostering a supportive and thriving work environment for our team members.

These survey results reinforce our belief in the strength of unity and collaboration, and we remain committed to nurturing and celebrating the valuable contributions of each team member at Youth Unity.

Meet the team here

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements around career opportunities?

Overall, how satisfied are you with working for Youth Unity?

My organisation is dedicated to my professional development.

There are opportunities for me to apply my talent and expertise.

There are opportunities for professional growth.

My organisation offers job-related training.

Please provide your feedback on company leadership.

I have confidence in this company’s senior leadership.

The senior leadership team has communicated a vision for the future that motivates me.

I hear enough communication from the senior leadership team about what is happening within the organisation

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

I am paid fairly for the work I do.

I feel respected

I feel my concerns, when raised are heard

I feel my pay is fair compared with people in similar roles in other organisations.

We offer enough training

Please provide your feedback on communication within the organisation.

There is open and honest two-way communication within the organisation

I feel I'm able to communicate freely, even when the news is not good.

I receive regular communication about what is happening in Youth Unity

Any other feedback you want to provide? good or bad!

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The British Racing School Induction Week Nov 2023

The British Racing School
Introduction to Racing Residential Course

The British Racing School

An Introduction to Racing, Residential Course

In collaboration with The British Racing School and the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust, we are thrilled to share the remarkable impact of this most recent project. A week-long induction to the school provided a unique opportunity for a group of young individuals.

The response from our network was truly heartening, with over 85 applicants vying for a placement. Despite the overwhelming interest, only 6 participants could be accommodated due to limited availability. In navigating this challenge, we strategically selected young people by working closely BSix College.

This immersive experience, made possible through the generous support of the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust, brought together individuals from diverse parts of London, representing varied socioeconomic backgrounds but bound by a shared passion for horses. We believe in the power of this transformative experience to significantly contribute to the long-term self-confidence and personal growth of these young individuals.

At the heart of this project is the spirit of collaboration and partnership, demonstrating that together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of young people. As we continue to build on these meaningful partnerships, we are excited about the positive ripple effect that our collective efforts will have on the future of these aspiring individuals.

Forging Paths to Employment: Empowering Futures

Beyond the enriching induction week, this project is dedicated to opening pathways to meaningful employment for the participants. During this transformative week, individuals are introduced to various elements crucial for their personal and professional development. The journey doesn’t end here; it extends into courses ranging from 6 to 18 weeks, each offering not just education but tangible opportunities with guaranteed work placements.

The commitment is to provide more than just a glimpse into the possibilities; it’s about equipping these young individuals with the skills and experiences that pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career. The diverse courses on offer ensure that participants can choose a path that aligns with their interests and aspirations, setting them on a trajectory toward long-term success.

By combining education with hands-on work placements, we aim to bridge the gap between learning and practical application, preparing participants for the challenges and opportunities they’ll encounter in the professional world. This project is more than an introduction—it’s a comprehensive program designed to empower individuals with the tools they need to thrive in the workforce.

As we continue this journey together, we are excited about the impact our collective efforts will have on the lives of those we serve. Youth Unity works to create a future where every individual has the opportunity to not only dream but also to turn those dreams into tangible, sustainable careers.

The course attendees who are from inner city London

“Horse riding is very expensive; I’ve always loved horses but due to expenses have never been able to do lessons. I also love animals in general and knowing how to care for them in my opinion should be a standard for all humans”. Jehan aged 17

“I have always wanted to become a jockey” 

“I volunteered at a city farm for around 4 years in which I was an assistant to a riding instructor for horse riding lessons for children with disabilities and special needs. As well as this I partook in riding lessons of my own and would care for the horses such as feeding and mucking out.”

“I would never be able to get this opportunity to ride horses and I really do desire to ride a horse as they are one of my favourite animals”.

“I spent a lot of time with horses when I was in Ukraine, but now I lack that experience. I love spending time with horses by riding and taking care of them. It has been my passion since I was very little”.

“I like animals and would love to learn to ride a horse, but never had the chance”.

This immersive journey aims to not only broaden their horizons but to provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the equine world.

With a visit to the National Stud Farm, the young minds were treated to a detailed guided tour, unraveling the intricate tapestry of horse breeding and care. The experience wasn’t just a visit; it was a hands-on exploration of the behind-the-scenes efforts that contribute to the well-being and development of these magnificent creatures.

The expedition continued at the British Horse Racing Museum, where the group was immersed in a wealth of knowledge. A meticulous guide led them through not only the museum’s exhibits but also illuminated the intricacies of how horses are meticulously cared for in the stables. From the history of horse racing to the day-to-day life of these majestic animals, every facet was unveiled with precision and passion.