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Creative wellbeing for children, young people and families in Brent

Young Brent Foundation’s Consortium Project ‘Valuing Life’ aims to raise young people’s attainment, aspiration, and routes into employment and positive life choices.

Funded through the National Lottery’s Partnerships Fund, Valuing Life brings together 12 delivery organisations that will work together to raise young people’s aspirations, ambition and agency to levels where they move away from negative choices and create positive choices or their lives, that will shape their families and the communities around them. The programme aims to work with 2000 young people across three years.

– To prevent children and young people aged 8-13 from involvement in activities related to negative peer groups and/or violent criminal behaviours
– To engage young people aged 14-17 who are known to be in the early stages of gang related activities, or on the cusp of criminal behaviours, to direct them towards positive pathways.

Valuing Life provides dedicated time and space for children, young people, and parents to reflect on how the behaviours that are established in the home and family settings could lead to the disharmony seen within education, and with wider community.

My role encompassed programme design, project management, and evaluation allowed me to build on my leadership skills in developing and overseeing organisations to build infrastructure and sustainability into the way they support the emotional and mental wellbeing of children, young people and adults within the local community. Specialists creative and therapeutic practitioners and independent research services were brought in at various stages of the project.

Connecting with schools, parents, and the wider community living in Brent, the programme uses creative expression and narrative storytelling asa means of connecting with others to help us understand ourselves and appreciate what we have in common, but to also celebrate our differences and unique perspectives.

Encouraging deeper conversations around life choices and aspirations, young people and parents were given the space and resources to learn new strategies for reflection and self-determination and were supported to work towards successful outcomes for their lives and communities.

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