Easterside is one of the 10% most deprived estates in the UK. It could be described as having typical council estate problems: high youth unemployment, antisocial behaviour, drug use, teenage pregnancy, broken families and underage drinking. But worst of all is the low levels of aspiration, particularly amongst the young living on the estate – no expectation of things changing.
HOW ARE WE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS?
The unique feature of Eden is that a team of people, with a vision for transformation of the community, have physically relocated into Easterside, to join with others already active on the estate. The Eden team currently consists of 6 individuals who have moved to live on the estate. This team, together with other volunteers, are focusing on building relationships with those who live on the estate. The aim is to impact culture – to live and work on the estate and build for the long term. This starts by organising activities to make important first connections. This has been working successfully, mainly with young people, through detached work. Football, boxing, dancing, introduction to the gym, trips off the estate – anything and any way that connections can be made. It is about getting alongside people and showing initially that we care, that we are interested in their lives. Those who live there are also inviting people in to their own homes, as a neutral base for chatting, coffee, DVDs or Xbox. Through the relationships built, we aim to influence and encourage young people in positive life choices.
WHAT IS EDEN?
Eden Easterside is part of a wider Christian-based national network operated by The Message Trust, committed to enabling young people living in areas of greatest deprivation to achieve their full potential in life. This UK-wide network gives us access to considerable skills and expertise in urban youth work interventions. Through partnership working with schools, churches, local authorities and other agencies their work aims to assist the regeneration of urban communities like Easterside by reducing the impact and risk of social exclusion among young people. We specifically focus on disadvantaged and disengaged groups of young people striving to enable them to re-connect with the broader community and become active local citizens who form part of the solution, not part of the problem.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Contact team leader TONY GRAINGE at firstname.lastname@example.org