Ignite Trust was established in September 2001 to work with young people in the London borough of Harrow. Ignite exists to see long term transformation in the lives of young people aged 13-24, especially those at risk, marginalised or facing barriers to succeed in life. We do this through:
- Engagement – making meaningful contact; offering activity and education based programmes, which engage young people;
- Empowerment – challenging values and behaviour and equipping young people with the tools, resources and opportunities to make positive choices; building positive relationships and mutual support to empower individuals;
- Transformation – journeying in a holistic way so young people can change the direction of their lives; raising aspirations for the future to see long-term transformation.
We run 22 projects each week including a number of specialised services. Projects include sports evenings engaging those displaying high levels of anti-social, gang and criminal behaviour; provision for vulnerable young females and those at risk of sexual exploitation; Expression youth group with weekly positive activities; 1:1 holistic mentoring; education and employment support; counselling; awareness lessons in schools including topics on drug and alcohol use and healthy relationships. We work directly with 850 young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds through our projects and engage a further 1500 through our schools work. A key part of our approach is to create a socially cohesive community, which promotes inclusion, instils positive values and encourages aspirations for the future.
In December 2015 we received funding from the Peter Cruddas Foundation towards our education and employment support project.
Ignite employment support workers use a flexible model, which includes detached youth work to engage the hardest to reach young people, who are not accessing other services, in their own environments and on the streets. They also attend other Ignite projects such as the gangs’ football night and Expression youth group to engage the target client group, building relationships with young people so that they feel comfortable accessing education and employment support.
We work with the most at risk and marginalised young people including those from broken/chaotic homes, refugee and asylum seeking families, those relying on benefits and living in poverty. As a result many suffer from low confidence and aspirations and find themselves caught in a cycle of ASB, gang involvement for status and identity, violence as means of communication, drug using for escapism, dealing/criminal activity for income and at risk of exploitation. Many struggle in formal education and employment settings or are NEET and do not strive to achieve as they feel they will be rejected or fail. They have little or no support and are facing multiple barriers preventing them from achieving in life.
Ignite workers offer bespoke, holistic support to help young people address a range of complex needs, referring to other Ignite services such as counselling and drug mentoring where necessary. They help young people to develop pre-employment skills such as emotional resilience, social and communication skills, confidence and aspirations. Workers assist young people to write action plans with SMART goals and journey with them to achieve these goals; equipping young people with employability skills and helping them identify and secure education, training and employment opportunities.
Our workers continue to offer post-employment support, providing young people with help and advice through any obstacles or difficulties they face. Workers also mediate and advocate on their behalf with other professionals and employers to ensure young people do not give up and that they retain placements.
We journey with young people out of deprived, negative and life- limiting lifestyles, enabling them to thrive independently and succeed in life through education and employment.
For more information visit ignitetrust.org.uk