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What is it?

Project Future is a community based holistic and youth-led, mental health and wellbeing service situated in Haringey. It seeks to transform the delivery of mental health for young men aged 11-25 years old who are involved in offending, have experiences of the criminal justice system, and specifically for those exposed to serious youth violence or labelled ‘gang-affiliated’.

Funded by the Big Lottery, the project is a partnership between Mind in Haringey, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, and Haringey Council and has been co-produced by the young people themselves: young men who are entrenched in cycles of poverty and offending, and who are not able to access regular services.

How does it work?

It is primarily a wellbeing service in which evidence-based psychological interventions are delivered to young people in accessible ways. The project is accessed by peer referral only, helping create an environment where young people feel comfortable and safe. At Project Future young people are appointed as experts in their own lives and in the community. They are consulted at every level of the project and are responsible for co-producing a service that best meets the needs of themselves and their peers.

The project is facilitated by a team of clinical psychologists, specialist youth workers and local young people, ‘community consultants’. Together they provide a supportive and nurturing environment for young people to thrive in by addressing their mental health, wellbeing and occupational needs. The service provides bespoke interventions that are tailored to the individual needs of young people, to ultimately improve wellbeing, facilitate rehabilitation and reduce the risk of future offending.

What has the impact been so far?

The Centre for Mental Health evaluated Project Future in 2017 and highlighted the impact it was having on service users across wellbeing, education, employment and training, access to services and offending.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

A marked and statistically significant reduction in needs relating to mental health and wellbeing. 70.2% young people have accessed wellbeing support at Project Future.

Access to Education, Employment and Training (EET)

Three-quarters of young people accessed EET support from Project Future, including job searching, applications, business support and emotional support around barriers to and maintaining work.

Access to Services

Two-thirds of young people accessed another service via Project Future, including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), housing, Citizens Advice, sexual health, primary care, mental health and benefits services

Reducing Offending

Community and criminal justice stakeholders reported perceived reduction of offending amongst young people attending Project Future. Young people describe how Project Future reduces offending by providing a safe space, routine, purpose and opportunities.

A supportive and holistic space, where young people feel genuinely cared about and supported.

Every time you walk in there’s a smile, there’s an enquiry to how you are, if life’s not going the way you want it to, you can go into a room and chat about how to get back on track…

An accepting and respectful space, where young people are not judged or seen as problems but are treated as agentic and resourceful.

Outside everyone sees us as a criminal but you lot see hope in us and that makes me feel good…

A legitimate space, where young people feel a sense of achievement and see the project as opening doors to a “legit” future.

I feel legit, I feel like my life is actually becoming something…

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