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Who’s there to help? Building Positive Relationships

January 8th, 2015 by Suzanne Sweeney

Providing the opportunity for delegates at our event to hear how others are working with young people and the relationships they are developing through their own practice was enthusiastically welcomed by those attending.

Using the model of your life in a week  recognised the particular importance of late Monday and Tuesday in determining the pattern for the rest of the week; your life. In opening the event I reflected on my Tuesday (13-24yrs of age). For me these years determined my education, work, partner, friends and even geographic location. It is a day when lots of key decisions are made and crucially the positive relationships’ I created and have since built on have enabled me to do much of what Wednesday, Thursday and Friday have been about.

Hearing from four key projects at the event enabled those attending to get a glimpse of how others have helped their young people build positive relationships and support as they too progress through their week.

On Monday afternoon (7-12yrs of age) we heard from Mrs Debbie Pringle (Head Teacher) at Trinity St Peters who have created SHINE as a framework for reviewing the strategy of their work with pupils and aligning their mission, objectives and planning for the year to align with this framework. To find out more about SHINE at Trinity St Peters, click here..  TSP SHINE 2014

We also heard from Norwood Primary School who are now in their third year of running the Smile £10 challenge, an initiative developed by the Windmills Foundation forY5 and Y6 (10-11 yr olds) in Sefton. The school talked about the impact this work had made to their young people in linking their personal development with the needs in the community and building positive and lasting relationships with one another. To find out more about the SMILE Challenge click here.. SMILE Introduction Paper

On Tuesday (13-24yrs of age) we heard from three other projects:

Gill Ditchburn at Sefton Education and Business Partnership who along with Windmills and Sefton CVS have run a one year GROWTH project with Y8’s (12-13 yr olds) who were identified by their school as being potential NEET (Not in education, employment or training) One of the key pieces of feedback this project got was the changes in behaviour experienced at home. Parents contributed to the evaluations identifying the difference mentoring and the GROWTH support had made to how their children behaved at home. Take a look at the report of this creative programme ..Knowsley Growth Final Report November 2014

As a trained Champion with Shropshire Council, Helen Bayley in her day job of managing the TaMHS team (Targeted Mental Health Support in Schools) saw the potential the Windmills approaches and portfolio could make to those young people who accessed TaMHS support. Her and her team utilised selected materials to support young people on a one to one basis along with small group work enabling these young people to discover what was important to them, begin to create a picture for the future and then, with the support of TaMHS begin to take the steps to realise that picture. To read more about this great piece of work click here…STAR Shropshire Schools

Finally our last speaker was Colette Taylor from Merseyside Youth Association who Windmills is working in partnership with as part of the national programme “Talent Match”. Colette highlighted the major challenges many of the programmes 16-24 yr olds face being furthest from the labour market. How intensive mentoring and this relationship helps young people to begin to determine their own pathways for moving forward. She pinpointed the need in building these relationships to have trust, honesty, flexibility and a sense of humour when supporting these young people. She was encouraged by what she heard on the day and felt that much of the work Talent Match Merseyside was undertaking was working. Take a look at the work that her and her team are involved in, click here for more details..Overview of Talent Match (2)

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