Our Peer to Peer (P2P) project was shortlisted in the Excellence in Youth Involvement category at the 2014 TPAS Awards held in London on 14 February.
P2P aims to identify and support young Southern Housing Group residents into appropriate employment, training and associated work and community opportunities.
The project began in February 2013 as a direct result of increasing levels of youth unemployment, recent and on-going changes within the welfare benefit system and general apathy young residents felt regarding career prospects.
Sonia Watson, Project Manager at Southern Housing Group, said, “The project has been a big success because it is run by young people, for young people.
“The beauty of P2P is that it specifically targets young people, aged between 16 and 25, who are not in education, employment, or training. Our trained young mentors are able to signpost these young residents into the appropriate opportunities for support.”
P2P employs two young residents as part time staff to provide on-going support for young residents. After six months the project had contacted over 200 young people and registered 51 to the program for further advice and support.
Of the 51 young people registered within the first six months, 39 have taken up opportunities in education, employment, training, apprenticeships and/or volunteering.
From the 200 young people contacted through the project so far, 50% feel more confident to go out and independently seek work, educational or training opportunities.
Jenny Topham, TPAS Acting Chief Executive of the awards said: “Not only have these successful projects created lasting legacies in their immediate communities, they’re also excellent examples of best practice that others can learn and benefit from so they can improve the lives of many more people across England."
P2P is a jointly funded project managed on behalf of Southern Housing Group by Leaders in the Community (LIC) and currently operates in the London Boroughs of Hackney and Islington.