Projects

Stanhope Community Hub

The Stanhope Community Hub, located in the heart of the Stanhope estate, allows Uprising Youth and Community to embed itself in the local community.

Project Overview

Our aim is to work with local people and other partners to bring about community transformation.  To bring about this transformation we engage children and young people in positive activities; work with families to help them with access to specific support if needed; break cycles of generational unemployment and reduce Anti-social behaviour. The Hub partners with The Moat Foundation, Moat Housing and Ashford Borough Council.


Initiation

Stanhope has been identified as an area of deprivation, typified by generational unemployment, low school attendance, NEET young people (NEET – not in education, employment or training), teenage pregnancy, low engagement with agencies and high levels of ASB.  The requirement for this project was identified by Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council, MOAT Housing, the Police, and the local community through the MOAT yearly consultation, and our own consultation process prior to opening the Hub. Two Years of street work, in addition to two community consultation days. The Stanhope Community Hub is central to what we do as a Charity.


Funding

Uprising Youth and Community receives funding from Ashford Borough Council, MOAT Housing and MOAT Foundation. The Charity also receives funding from other partners such as the Police and Borough Councillors for specific projects, activities or equipment.


Typical Attendees

After School Session – Aimed at local children and teenagers from 4-16 years old, including those with behavioural and learning issues.

Wednesday evening session – Young people in year 7 and above (11-18 years old), NEET young people (NEET – Not in education, employment or training.), young people with drug misuse issues, young people with ADHD and other behavioural issues, young people with mental health issues.

Mentoring/ one to one support – Single parent families, young adults and those with mental health issues.

Mornings – Unemployed adults and young people for CV support, interview technique, employment research.


Method of Delivery

All of the different sessions are planned and delivered according to age. After school sessions are mainly open access but include some pre-planned sessions.  Homework club is open access with one to one support.  We also deliver support to people in lots of other ways.  One to one support/mentoring is provided on a case by case basis, we work closely with the police and other local agencies to provide this support where we can.


Weekly activities are:

Hub After School Clubs – Monday’s and Friday’s 3-5.30pm. For ages 5-13, these sessions are open access, with board games, Xbox One, PS4, as well as some planned sessions.

Hub Youth Club – Wednesday evenings 7-9pm.  For ages 11-16, these sessions are open access, with games, Xbox, PS4, and some planned sessions that are based around the issues that young people typically face.

Hub Homework Club – Thursday’s 3.30-5.30.  For years 4-7, these are open access sessions for young people to have a quiet place to do their homework, with internet access and printing, as well as some one to one support from youth workers.

Hub Job Club – (CURRENTLY CLOSED) We use the CAP Job Club model.  CAP Job Clubs are a service recommended nationally by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  The Job Club is designed to equip people with the practical tools necessary to find employment, while rebuilding confidence and self-esteem.  The combination of the ‘Steps to Employment’ course, one to one coaching and a supportive community means that even the long-term unemployed can find work.  A CAP Job Club meets once a week and is run by a trained Job Club manager.  The ‘Steps to Employment’ element of the course is interactive and covers practical topics such as CV writing and interview techniques to improve employability.  Coaching sessions are then run alongside the course to give members the opportunity to discuss their individual needs in more detail and set goals for themselves.  The job club was launched in July 2017.

Hub community support and signposting – The Hub is open on Monday and Tuesday mornings for local people to access the internet for job searching, and any help they may need with application forms or CV writing.  We are also available for advice, and signposting to other agencies in regard to any other issues people may be facing. We work in partnership with local agencies to provide a broad spectrum of support.


Project Impact

The Stanhope Community Hub exists to support the local community.  What we are trying to achieve depends on the individual.  We try to signpost people to the relevant agencies where needed, work on peoples’ immediate needs such as; employment, emotional support and health.  Ultimately, we want to foster a sense of community, both practically and in the sense of giving people support.  This manifest itself as the Hub being a place that people can access for help and advice for their immediate needs, but also somewhere that people can come to for friendship, and a sense of community.

Ultimately, we are trying to achieve community transformation, aiming for a reduction in ASB, more regular school attendance/positive engagement in some form of education, helping people with family relationships/life issues, giving them a listening ear, somewhere to go and feel valued.


Successes

In a regular after school session, we have an average of 15 young people.  For special events this number can rise to 90+, and during peak holiday times, we can have between 30-40 young people per session. Our team is well known in the community among local people, and with local partners.  We have been open for 3 years, and our numbers and impact continue to increase over time.  This is a great way for us to measure effect and impact, because we know from our experience of working in Stanhope that any progress takes time and patience.  Our profile within the community has been raised steadily over this time, and this has enabled us to begin to build strong relationships with young people and families.

The Hub has established rules and guidelines for behaviour that we have developed over time, and the behaviour of young people attending has improved.  In providing these guidelines and giving young people a place to socialise, ASB in the immediate area has decreased.

Over time, we have been able to build good relationships with young people and in turn their families.  For our Christmas parties, and events during half terms and school holidays, we are able to invite new families, as well as lots of young people.

In the past 3 years we have been able to refer young people our Aspire+ Programme, which is Uprising’s alternative education course for young people, and this has helped them to progress on to something positive.  We have also been able to help people with job searching, by giving CV guidance and helping them to fill in forms, which has led to employment.

One of the other things we provide for young people in Stanhope is mentoring. By working one to one with specific young people we have seen how this kind of investment can make a real difference in their lives. This has been a great way for us to continue to build on our existing work, and to continue to offer support.


Challenges

Funding and staffing levels – The requirement to support the community with the issues it faces is great and as the Charity’s work increases, the requisite increase in staffing and funding will need to be addressed. The Charity is committed to expanding its work over the next 3 years.

Location – The location is perfect, right at the centre of Stanhope.  However, the size of the building limits some activity. The Hub’s garden has recently been expanded in order for a community garden to be built, other activities will require a long-term plan to see the expansion of the building.


How is Progress Monitored?

Progress is reviewed both weekly, at our team meetings, and quarterly in a review meeting with funding partners.  As well as these meetings, we also provide a quarterly report with statistics, and progress, including case studies of individual young people.