WHAT IS FIND YOUR FIRE?
Find Your Fire is a bespoke youth programme run in partnership with Viva Doorsteps, Donnington Doorstep, Emmanuel, St Clement’s and St Luke’s Church. We aim to build the aspiration, confidence, and life skills of vulnerable young people in East Oxford of secondary school age to increase their wellbeing and employability.
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
There are five key components to Find Your Fire:
1. Spark Groups – Weekly sessions provide space for young people to feel safe, build relationships with each other and the youth work team, and provide a platform for introducing new ideas. New ideas have included mental health first aid training, CSE awareness, modern day slavery, and budgeting training.
2. Accredited Qualification – Young people complete a Level 1 NOCN Award in skills for employment, training, and personal development.
3. Peer Education Projects – Young people find a platform and voice for something they feel passionately about. Past projects include a disability awareness campaign, young people identified by the school as at risk of CSE following information passed to them after a Spark Group presenting on CSE awareness, and a young person with ASD presenting on how autism impacts day-to-day life. In addition to forming Unit 2 of the NOCN, the peer education projects showcase the results of the investment in young people’s lives.
4. Trips – When you take young people out of the school environment you start to form a relationship with their parents as well. Research has shown that young people benefit from knowing that safe adults in a position of care for them are in contact with each other. Trips take place for a variety of purposes, from the outward bound activity centre for delivery of the team-building unit of the accreditation, to Christmas and end-of-year celebration events, such as bowling, escape rooms or laser quest with a meal together.
5. Mentoring – We have a high ratio of youth workers to young people so one-to-one and small group work is possible.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT?
Year 11 Girl: I started attending Find Your Fire as a young person, and after my second time taking part in the project I have decided to come back next year as a young leader. From both perspectives of taking part and leading, I feel that this project is hugely beneficial to those who take part. Personally, this project has helped me overcome many social fears that I am now comfortable with, and I am aware of how to handle them. From my perspective, I have also seen the effect it has had on other young people, and how it has changed them in a rewarding way. For example, a young person that myself and the other youth workers worked with usually has difficulty concentrating and staying on task, but while the project progressed, he has become more patient and able to engage. The Find Your Fire project is an amazing thing to be a part of that teaches you a hidden curriculum that is not taught in school.
Parent of Year 10 Boy: This group is amazing for young people and you guys do so much for them. Thank you for the work you are doing with them it is really appreciated.