A Mansfield community project which has supported vulnerable young people is being extended

A Nottinghamshire funded project that has supported 17 vulnerable young people in Mansfield is being extended.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 12:39 pm

Thanks to £22,800 from the Office of the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Mansfield Community Partnership, led by Mansfield District Council, worked with Nottingham-based organisation Switch Up to help 9 to 17-year-olds.The One Youth project will continue until the end of June, 2022, after the OPCC agreed that £5,700 of under-spend from other projects could go to the project.

Switch Up provides one-to-one, individually tailored mentoring and most also received boxing tuition.The aim,is to improve young people’s physical and mental health, to help steer them away from crime and antisocial behaviour into more positive activities, moving them towards education, employment or training.All those who were supported were living with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) or developmental trauma; not in education, employment or training (NEET), or in danger of becoming NEET, as well as presenting a risk of entering or remaining in the criminal justice system.

Coun Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing, said: "The council's Community Safety team and other agencies, working with the young people, have reported positive feedback about Switch Up’s support which shows the positive impact that our services and partnership working are having.

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Councillor Marion Bradshaw

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"It is great news that this project can continue supporting these vulnerable young people to help them keep their lives on track."Marcellus Baz BEM, founder and Chief Executive of Switch Up, said: “We’re thrilled that our mentoring in Mansfield with vulnerable young people can continue until June, and, hopefully, after then, too.

"The timing is perfect because Switch Up recently acquired the River Maun Recreation Centre to operate as a community hub and gym. It will be a perfect base for mentors to support young people at risk of crime and violence.”

One young person who has benefited from the project is Robert (not his real name) who was referred in February 2021 due to reported antisocial behaviour in the Mansfield district. There had been concerns about his anger, and he was aggressive at school.

He received mentoring and boxing sessions, later graduating from the council funded project onto Switch Up’s employability programme (separately funded by the Youth Futures Foundation). He later achieved good GCSEs and secured employment in a construction firm.