About Nottingham CYF Project
CYF builds long term positive relationships with some of the cities most isolated and vulnerable children and young people. Through relevant, needs led programmes of work and activities, developed in partnership with the children and young people themselves, CYF works to enable and empower them to make huge changes to improve their quality of life.
CYF is based in St.Anns, one of the most deprived areas in Nottingham. St.Anns has some of the cities highest rates of unemployment, teenage pregnancy, gang related crime, domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, anti-social behaviour and youth offending.
CYF has developed out of the St.Anns community, having witnessed and recognised the need, a group of local people and professionals working in the area, established CYF to enable these children and young people to overcome their circumstances and live happier and safer lives.
CYF has established a successful track record of engaging, building and sustaining positive relationships with some of the most marginalised children and young people in Nottingham’s inner-city community. For many CYF is the only organisation that these children and young people will voluntarily access.
CYF does not believe that these children and young people are 'hard to reach', but that as a service, we need to shape our style of working to work within their world of chaos, disruption and lack of bounderies, rather than expect them to fit into the mainstream world of structure and convention.
For example, with a traditional play or youth service provider, if for example, a child wants to take part in a school holiday sports programme, as a minimum, they will be expected to do the following: get to the venue, bring a packed lunch or drink and snack, bring a completed consent form, wear appropriate clothing and often bring a nominal fee.
For socially excluded and disadvantaged children and young people, these simple tasks can present insurmountable barriers, that more often than not will, result in them not being able to take part in the project.
If for example, their parent or carer is a heavy drinker or drug user and has used to excess the night before, they may sleep until 1 the next afternoon and consequently no one wakes the child or gets them ready the next morning, so they miss that days sports programme. Maybe the police raided the childs house the night before, which meant that the front door was smashed in, there was a lot of screaming and shouting, strange men burst through their bedroom door and their older brother was thrown to the ground and dragged to a police car. It is unlikely that getting the childs swimming kit and packed lunch together the next day is going to be anyone’s priority.
These are all real, everyday scenarios for the children and young people who access CYF. On average, over the course of a 12 month period, CYF work's with over 80 children and young people, who live with varying degrees of these scenarios as their reality.
CYF uses a pro-active, direct, needs led approach to supporting these children and young people. In a recent consultation, children and young people described why they found it easier to engage with CYF than more traditional services: 'Being part of CYF is like having a second family', ..........'it's a bit like having a big sister'...................'it feels like you have an extra auntie.'
If for example, CYF are running a holiday activity, workers will wake the child up in the morning, wait for them to get ready, pick them up from home in the CYF minibus, provide lunch, drink and snacks, have one generic consent form and never charge for activities. Once a positive, trusting relationship has been established with that child, they will then begin a programme of life skills and confidence building with CYF and will gradually work towards developing the skills to be able to independently identify, access and sustain access to positive opportunities, services and activities. CYF works to enable these children and young people to take responsibility for their actions, recognise the consequences of their behaviour and sets them very firm and fair bounderies, which they often lack in their day to day lives. The organisation provides consistency and patience and encourages and nurtures aspirations and self belief, to enable these children and young people to re-integrate into mainstream society.
Nottingham CYF Project believe that these children and young people need high quality, consistent, long term, flexible and adaptable support to empower and enable them to go on to live independent, safe, positive and independent lives.
Nottingham CYF Project is Registered as a Charity in England No:1118893. Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England, Company No: 5939049. Registered Office – 20 Robin Hood Chase, St Anns NG3 4EZ. Directors: J.Hall, A.Dawson, S.Coates, K.Andrew.