In 2017 Recre8 were awarded a large grant of £7,699 from the Wesleyan Foundation to implement their Female Community Change Agents programme.
Recre8 is a charity based in Nechells, a ward in Birmingham with a reputation for deprivation and gang culture.
The organisation works with young offenders and those at risk of offending to help them make better life choices leading to a positive future.
The Change Agents programme focused on mentoring and supporting young females helping them to move away from offending and train them to help others change their behaviour avoiding youth crime and gang culture while becoming empowered to stand against negative influences.
Here’s what Humaira, one participant had to say:
“I’ve learnt how to deal with other people and their problems; a lot of people come to confide in us and through this project I know how to deal with it and how to approach a situation.
“I’m definitely confident in bringing people here and supporting them. One of my friends had an issue and I kind of just dragged her here.
“She was quite a shy person, she didn’t speak or anything. It’s amazing to see how she’s changed for the better, she’s a happier person.
“To help someone else and to make them feel good about themselves is just amazing!”
Daniela Varley, Director of Recre8, said:
“Nechells does get a very poor reputation due to poverty, gang violence and knife crime. We wanted to work with a group of young females to give them an opportunity to raise their aspirations, give them a formal qualification and provide them with a safe space.
“None of the girls in the group knew each other; we wanted them to build a rapport and feel safe as they were all dealing with their own issues.
“We’ve seen huge changes within the girls, not only with their confidence but also their self-esteem, their presentation and the way they articulate themselves. To see that transition over a short period of time has been incredible.
“We’ve witnessed how approachable, kind, loving and caring they are for their community. I don’t think people understand how important money like this can be in terms of changing young people’s lives.
“They now have more direction, more vision, more purpose, they feel like they’re listened to and respected.
“These girls can now go on to achieve world domination, they’re just fantastic individuals!”