Salmon Youth Centre - UK

Opening doors for young people in London

Reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years. Salmon Youth Centre welcome 500 young people every week between the ages of six and 24 years. Their doors are open to all young people from all backgrounds, building long-term relatioships with young people through regular social interaction. 

Years: 2015, 2016

A report by the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) highlighted that children and young people with a disability are more likely to live in poverty, are more likely to be socially isolated and experience barriers to education, leisure and play, are at increased risk of mental health problems, and are more likely to have additional health problems such as being overweight (CDC 2014). There is a real lack of activities in Southwark for young people with mild to moderate disabilities, and almost a complete lack of provision for those who are over 18. 

 

This two year project with the ALMT aims to help build the confidence, skills and independence of young people with disabilities and to increase their access to opportunities in the following ways:

 

A weekly youth club for disabled young people called “Mixables”;

 

Mixables allows disabled young people to socialise with their peers, try new activities and go on day trips and residentials to practise their independence skills in new, unfamiliar environments. Through Mixables we also encourage young people to work towards achieving basic accreditations, such as AQAs Unit Awards.

 

A befriending scheme;

 

This scheme connects fully trained and supervised adult volunteers with young people whose disability means that they are not independent and do not access leisure facilities. The pair enjoy social and leisure activities in the local area together; putting the young person in situations in which they have to manage their money, use public transport, etc. Timings: Up to two hours weekly of befriending for young people.

 

Personalised timetables for young people offering individualised support;

 

Each young person accessing the centre has a different set of interests and needs. The Disability Worker helps young people to identify their interests and to achieve their potential. For example, a young person may take up volunteering or work experience opportunities at Salmon or in a partner organisation, access training in a specific area or work towards a qualification, or be helped to access further education, employment or housing opportunities. Timings: between one and 10 hours per week.

 

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