This article was contributed by Chris Palmer of Transitions UK.
Transitions UK is a relatively new charity established in 2014 specifically to support disadvantaged or vulnerable young people aged 15-25 years of age to make an effective and positive transition towards adulthood and to a productive and happy life as adults.
So many of our young people struggle at the point at which they leave a school, special school or support agency and move towards adulthood. There is, sadly, all too often a failure of planning and co-ordination just at the point when young people most need support.
The Charity works across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and works with key groups of young people, including those with learning disabilities, emotional and mental health issues and those at risk of (re) offending. Many of these young people may have other issues as well including homelessness, substance abuse and behavioural issues etc.
It is a huge concern that so many young people are disengaged and disillusioned, with youth unemployment still at 3-4 times the national average and many young people “falling off the cliff” as they move from children’s to adult services. This is particularly true for more vulnerable groups. This is an intolerable situation and one which Transitions UK is here to challenge.
If we do not address the needs of our young people in this generation then we are even more concerned at how things might be for young people in twenty years time. We need to act now.
What do we do?
We provide innovative and person-centred solutions working with volunteer and paid mentoring and befriending and we are keen to work with companies and individuals who want to partner with the charity and provide support that changes lives.
Right now, we are working with young people with learning disabilities in Luton and we will be launching a countywide service in Hertfordshire for young people at risk of offending early in the New Year. We aim to grow regionally as quickly as possible across Herts, Beds, Bucks and North London and within 5-10 years to provide a nationally based service supporting 5,000 young people every year. We work with those who have clear disadvantage, have the most potential to move forward but lack the support to do so.
One example is “Alex”, who has moderate learning disabilities but is most disabled by the lack of support from his family and his lack of friends. We work with Alex to assess his needs, provide the right volunteers and mentors to support him and give him a two year programme of personal development, including towards a personal life plan incorporating next stage education, employment and inclusion. Giving Alex supportive friends, confidence, skills and self-esteem are all part of make a lifelong difference for him, enabling him to lead a more positive and independent lifestyle.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for business partners to work with us as their charity of the year and hopefully longer, to sponsor events or to give time and expertise. We are looking for individuals to volunteer, become a regular supporter or take on a challenge or attend and event. If you want to help we will work with you to see how best you can be involved.
You can check out the website on www.transitionsuk.org or please like and follow us on facebook and twitter. If you would like to get involved or to take up a challenge or attend one of our events (see website) then please get in touch on 01582 380620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org