Project: Projects4Change

Addressing the needs, voice and rights of young people

Founded in 2018, Projects4Change is a growing youth and community charity, helping young people to develop and flourish into adulthood. Having started with no seed money at all, it has become a needed and effective model for supporting some of the most vulnerable young people in Newcastle.

Projects4Change (P4C) works predominantly with young people aged 11-18 in the Cowgate area of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Many of the young people are living in poverty and are facing significant barriers to a happy and stable life. The local community has a higher than average number of young people and a larger number of single parent families. This means the poverty experienced on the estate particularly affects the lives of children and young people.

At the heart of what P4C does is relationship building. The team know their young people, check in on them, and listen to their struggles and their concerns. This means sticking with young people throughout the many difficulties they encounter. Alongside a founding model of detached youthwork, P4C offers a regular programme of activities, including -

  • Open-access youth sessions: Afterschool sessions are used to build relationships with young people, feed them, and offer activities such as bush craft, gardening, art and games. Environmental projects are also regularly incorporated.

  • Targeted youth sessions: These sessions meet the needs of isolated young people unattached to a group through the open-access sessions. The team also provide alternative groupwork for the most vulnerable young people, focusing on skills development and wellbeing.

  •  1:1 mentorship: Approximately 10-15 young people receive mentorship per year when they are in crisis and dealing with issues such as youth justice, pregnancy, or a range of other issues.  

  • Building life experiences: Life-changing experiences are regularly facilitated like sailing, youth exchanges and residentials, arts, and opportunities for youth leadership.

  • Change Maker volunteers: Young volunteers aged 14-18 are trained to consult with their peers about the needs of local young people to ensure the co-creation of P4C’s work.

  • Commissioned work: P4C works in schools 2 days a week, supporting groups and individuals with their social and emotional health and well-being. 

In order to increase organisational reach, a new space will be built at P4C’s main site, which will almost treble its capacity! This will lead to a better offer for local families, more young people being fed, more places for running activity programmes and group work sessions, as well as more diverse opportunities created on site.

Alongside the build, the team will plan for how to increase capacity in a way that supports sustainability, as well as continuing the highest level of support for their young people. In addition to ongoing advice, the Foundation provided support towards staff salary costs, in order to support the stability of the management team during this key time of transition.