Southwark is one of the most disadvantaged boroughs In London and children and young people are often at the forefront in experiencing the challenges that this brings. Some parts of Southwark may be undergoing regeneration projects, but Youth Futures is working in one of those hidden or forgotten crevices in the borough.

In Camberwell, where Youth Futures is based:

  • 70% of children live in low-income households
  • And 26% of these children are born into families who live below the poverty line. [2013, ‘Child Poverty Map, Barnardos]

Furthermore, relationships between the police and young people, particularly those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds have almost entirely broken down. Southwark has the second highest rate of stop and searches in London and this practice is significant in aggravating tensions between the police and young people:

  • 1,306 took place in February 2014 with a 12.9% arrest rate.

Furthermore, recent reports from 2013 have revealed that funding for youth services has been cut by a third in the last two years, resulting in a dramatic decline in the range of services young people can access. Those services that do remain are struggling to try and fill a widening gap of need for support, across a range or complex issues. We believe that there is a risk that young people may be growing up to be part of an invisible generation, as proposed Government policies seek to exclude 16-24s from state support.

Youth Futures work takes us where the young people’s needs lie:

  • Support into education, training and employment
  • Support in engaging with Social Care
  • Support in opening a bank account or applying for a passport
  • Mediating conflict with family members
  • Liaising with Youth Offending Teams and the Police
  • Moral support and encouragement to attend a job interview
  • Facilitation into work experience opportunities
  • Someone non-judgemental to listen to news of achievements and also concerns.
  • And much, much more….

Youth Futures knows that we can’t do this alone. We believe in the building of stronger relationships across organisations working in the area and taking a multi-agency approach, in order to safeguard the futures of the young people in Southwark and beyond.