A day in the young peoples programme:
9:30 in the morning, and the young clients are starting to arrive in the centre. Those who arrive early enough can wander into the canteen and help themselves to tea, coffee or cold drinks and can make toast for themselves. (They’re teenagers – they’re often hungry!!)
They also check Facebook and hang out in the open areas and courtyard. This is a good time for Project workers to check-in with them, see how they are doing today, and start conversations about whatever is troubling them at the moment.
Classes start at 10, although it may be a while yet before all of the clients arrive. A few guys refuse to attend their class, and are given a few options:
- They can sit and chat with the project worker – which allows them discuss and sort out any issue they are dealing with.
- Alternatively they can take a break and a smoke, and then attend class in a few minutes
Often clients have serious issues they want to sort out. They may have picked up charges, have missed a court appointment or have court dates coming up. There may be trouble at home, in their neighbourhood or with their friends. Often they are struggling with their own behaviour and moods, made worse is they struggle with mental health, learning issues or substance mis-use.
During the course of the morning, arguments sometimes break out in class or in the open area. Tutors and project workers address these, separating people and even sending them home where necessary. There is usually a root issue which the project workers will try to discuss one-on-one with the clients in question. Often clients just need space, and they may be given the option of working alone or 1-1 with a tutor for a while.
At 12:00 James arrives to bring the boxers off for a training session. They are worked hard and come back 1 ½ hrs later tired out and well ready for their lunch!
After lunch, there are 3 more classes to go. Most will then head home, although there is still time in the afternoon for meetings with project workers, social workers, probation officers or whoever they need to meet with to address issues going on for them.