Like all small business, Project 507 struggles with having enough resources to get everything done. We know our consistency with communication via the newsletter, website, and social media leaves a lot of room for improvement, but we are working on it. Due to this being our first newsletter of the year, I have focused on a more general update rather than month specific.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Project 507 team; employees, volunteers, directors, strategic counsel, funders, primes and partner organisations, firstly, for the solidarity and support shown to me this year while I was dealing with a personal issue. Secondly, for the continued energy and assistance provided to the organisation, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown me how healthy Project 507 now is as an entity; we have been able to adapt quickly and have had the privilege of stability through these difficult times. We are only in this position due to the collective collaboration and support of the many individuals and organisations involved.
Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic
These unprecedented times of COVID-19 have shown fear, loss, isolation and uncertainty among society. Unfortunately, this is a reflection of the reality that many of the young people we support live with daily. The fear of death of self/family/friends due to violence; uncertainty around life’s direction and the isolation of being socially excluded from a young age are emotions they are continually confronting.
Prisons nationwide have been put in lockdown, meaning residents are spending the majority of their day in their cell. A ripple effect of the prison and nation lockdown has been a restriction in our work within the secure estate. To continue supporting the young people involved in the Young Kings programme, Project 507 have developed therapeutic in-cell packs that contain a variety of worksheet. Our in-cell packs contain activities around meditation, understanding behaviour, mindfulness, sudoku, yoga, and word searches to keep minds active and focused. We are continuing to work with the prison estate to get more packs delivered throughout lockdown.
The Project 507 staff team are also using this time to take online courses; these include courses around bereavement counselling and drama therapy.
Update by J. Allen, Senior Specialist Case Worker – CFO3 SE Prison Estate Team
Our CEO, Whitney Iles, took part in the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s #TheChangeNetwork event hosted by Grace Wyld and alongside Jennifer Twite, Head of Strategic Litigation at Just for Kids Law, John Drew C.B.E., Former CEO of the Youth Justice Board, Joshua Kilembeka, Leaders Unlocked and Penelope Gibbs, Director of Transform Justice.
David McQueen, our chair of the board, presented at Clink’s Insider View event at Mansion House, whilst one of our specialist case managers got hands-on at our stand, teaching willing participants about how we use games to help with learning.
We finished our six-week Understanding the relationships between violence and trauma course with Sported Foundation. This privately funded training allowed us to create a safe space and interactive learning environment for a range of different grassroots and community-based projects that use sports as a way to engage with children and young people.
We also ran our third Trauma and Young People involved in Serious Youth Violence workshop for the Haringey and Enfield (HEY) Network at the Selby Centre.
Last but not least, we became a CPD member and began the process of getting all our courses and workshops CPD Accredited!
Training and Events
|Project 507 has worked with other organisations across the CJS Voluntary Sector to create an In-Cell Activity Pack Resource, this free resource can be found here: In-Cell Activity Packs|
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on the United Kingdom
Read the report HERE
Vulnerable Young People: COVID-19 Response
Read the report HERE