RAISE YOUR HANDS INTERIM REPORT          

With the support of Raise Your Hands, Straight Talking have recruited and fully trained 4 peer educators with another 7 recruited and undergoing training in the North London Boroughs of Enfield, Hackney and Haringey.

By the end of the 15/16 academic year we will have delivered 52 courses in 6 schools in Hackney, Haringey, Barnet and Camden.

We are delighted to have successfully completed a pilot project working in Oakhill Secure Training Centre, part of the Oakhill Youth Offenders Institute. This is the first time that the Straight Talking programme has been adapted and presented in an offenders institute, an environment where it is estimated 1 in 4 adolescent offenders are fathers. The courses were delivered with achievable and specific learning outcomes and the four sessions delivered were very well received; feedback provided showed that 41% of pupils indicated a positive shift in knowledge about teenage pregnancy and parenthood after just 1 session.   

Oakhill are keen to further work with Straight Talking in the 16/17 academic year and make this programme a permanent part of their curriculum. Straight Talking are currently working with Oakhill to raise funds to continue this work. A full report on the pilot project is available.

The value of this work is inestimable to the Peer Educators at Straight Talking and Oakhill YOI. Straight Talking’s Peer Educators gained enormous pride in the new project and they brought their excitement into the office to share the feelings of having made a ‘real difference’ in a challenging environment. Having experiences similar issues, they were able to examine their own lives once again and value their future options with the charity.

Young men from single parent families often lack the input from their fathers that is so crucial to their development into adulthood. It is likely that the majority of the inmates are from broken families and whilst many other young people go down a different route under the circumstances, there are inevitably some who are badly affected and take the wrong path.

When Kevin, a Straight Talking Peer Educator, disclosed that he had fought hard and won custody of his child, the most hardened of the inmates stood up and congratulated him, something that initiated a standing ovation from all of the participants. Staff at the prison were surprised and impressed with the power of this incident and it may be something that has a lasting effect on these young men.

It is true to say that the funding from Raise Your Hands initiated a new and powerful piece of work with young people. The funding has certainly had a profound effect on both the lives of the Peer Educators and the inmates at Oakhill Youth Offending Institute. Unrestricted funding has the ability to bring creative ideas to the organisation and Raise Your Hands made this possible.

Funding from Raise Your Hands also had a strong impact on pupils and newly recruited peer educators in North London and area that has so far been beyond Straight Talking’s reach. This is the beginning of a new development that we will make sure becomes a sustainable project. Schools have been so pleased to receive the programme that they are looking to book for the coming academic year. There is a great need for the charity’s work in North London where teenage pregnancy and parenthood rates are particularly high in some areas. Although rates for under 17 year old girls has been reduced considerably, we still have the highest rates in Western Europe and must ensure that the under 19 rates are equally reduced so that young people can make wise choices for the future.

Details of RYH funds spent:

 

NEW NORTH LONDON SCHEME PEER EDUCATORS

BOROUGH

MOTHER/

FATHER

TRAINING/

TRAINED

COST £

Karen Dzodzome

Enfield

Mother

training

529

Michelle Cummins

Enfield

Mother

training

529

Christopher Edwards

Enfield

Father

training

529

Demanai Seraphin

Hackney

Mother

training

529

Rochelle Newell

Hackney

Mother

training

529

Kevin Makwikila

Hackney

Father

trained

529

Miguel Gutierrez

Hackney

Father

trained

529

Thomas Cunningham

Hackney

Father

training

529

Ruben Vemba

Hackney

Father

trained

529

Irene Hazelwood

Haringey

Mother

training

529

Robyn McDermot

Haringey

Mother

trained

529

TOTAL

 

 

 

£ 5819

 

NEW NORTH LONDON SCHEME SCHOOLS

BOROUGH

NO. COURSES

NO. SESSIONS

COST £

Hackney Community College

Hackney

10

1

845

Parkview School

Haringey

16

1

1223

Mill Hill Community College

Barnet

8

1

719

Queen Elizabeth Girls School

Barnet

7

4

2126

St Mary’s High School

Barnet

3

2

584

La Sainte Union School

Camden

8

1

719

TOTAL

 

52

 

£ 6216

 

OAKHILL YOUTH OFFENDERS INSTITUTE PILOT PROJECT

COST £

Project development and Administration wages

870

Peer Educator wages

1630

Travel Expenses

690

Other

50

TOTAL

£ 3240