My spirits were lifted this week by the report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report which told us that on average teenagers are happy with life and give life 7.3/10 in a happiness score [BBC]. In the UK the average 15 year old scores happiness at 7/10, which is a positive affirmation in a world which throws so many challenges in their direction. Far from being grumpy the young people we bump in to around the offices here in Canada Water (Southwark) are mostly happy if occasionally bashful! Watching the many young people riding their skateboards here in the spring sun is another reminder that 99% of the young people we meet in London are creative and valued members of their community.
At IARS our background was in youth work and from this our current project with Southwark Council has bloomed. Our Southwark Youth Now project sets out to help young people:
- Feel empowered, self-confident with personal goals and aspirations that will further increase their willingness to continue in formal education or pursue further training/employment preventing them from the risk of becoming NEET’s.
- Acquired a set of soft skills including communications skills, public speaking, presentation and team work skills that will improve their educational performance in short term and their employability in the long term. The output of the activities will be certified so it will add to their employability.
- Improved their understanding and knowledge about their rights as citizens at local and national level and their relationship/engagement with local authorities and public and other local bodies eg. Police, Housing Associations etc.
- Improved their awareness about the work of Southwark Council and the services that are available to them and their families depending on their needs and requirements.
- Present increased engagement with the services of the Council and willingness to explore more services and/or participate in local institutions such as becoming members of the Southwark Youth Council.
Through supporting them to be active citizens contributing to their society SYN in it’s own little way contributes to the overall happiness in the borough.
For more information about our Southwark Youth Now project follow this link: http://www.iars.org.uk/content/southwarkyouthnow-syn