Positive Punch was a 3-year multi-agency project led by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Camden Council Integrated Youth Support Services, CAMHS (Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust), and MAC-UK. It was a youth-led project using the Integrate model in the Gospel Oak and Haverstock Wards in Camden. This area was selected for an Integrate Project as the streets around the Positive Punch ofﬁce are the most deprived area in Camden and amongst the 10% most deprived areas in the UK. Young people in this area are less likely than those in other areas in Camden to gain qualiﬁcations and rates of unemployment, offending and antisocial behaviour are high.
Positive Punch worked with young people aged 16-25 years who were gang affected and /or involved in antisocial behaviour. Many were known to numerous agencies in the area, but had not been able to engage with any service before. The project worked with young people in the context of their peer group, working with individuals and the systems around them to promote change.
Positive Punch supported young people to capitalise on their own strengths – an abundance of musical talent, sporting ability and entrepreneurial ideas. Together with project staff, young people set up projects and activities that provided opportunities for them to engage with staff and receive support to improve their mental health and wellbeing in an innovative way that is both acceptable and accessible to them. In this context, young people were supported to access employment, education and training, to address substance misuse, to reduce offending and to make links with mainstream services.