Our Southwark (South-East London) project was a 3-year partnership between Southwark Council, South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and MAC-UK, which started in October 2012. The Project was funded by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and was evaluated by the Centre for Mental Health.
As with all our Integrate sites, staff started the project by going out into the community to meet young people who would otherwise not have engaged with services. These hard to reach young people were given ownership over the project from the outset and chose to name it Reachout | outReach – RO|OЯ
RO|OЯ worked with young people aged 16-25 who were involved in highly antisocial behaviour and/or gang-related activity and for whom all other services have been unreachable. RO|OЯ worked within a group of peers to support change from within the group and also worked with them to change the systems around them.
Young people at RO|OЯ developed and led their own activities, including decorating the project’s base, building a music studio and running sessions, organising go-karting trips and running gym sessions. Through these activities young people and staff built trusting professional relationships, enabling streetherapy to occur, plus the young people learned some very useful and transferable skills.
The Centre for Mental Health’s evaluation showed that the team at RO|OЯ helped young people achieve very positive outcomes in mental health improvements, reduced offending and supported many young people into education, employment and training.