PAE (Positive Adolescent Engagement) project is MAC-UK’s first peer-led integrate intervention established to engage disadvantaged young people aged 11 to 15 living in parts of Camden, North London. PAE delivers flexible, community-based sessions that aim to meet the educational and creative needs of the young people they support through co-produced activities.
It was set up by Mark, Kiaron and Thomas, all of whom are ex-service users currently employed by MAC-UK to run the PAE project. Their experiences of being exposed to criminality at young ages coupled with their desire to make effective change in their own community has positioned them as positive role models to the young people they now engage.
PAE aims to identify young people that are at risk of offending and guide them through what can be a challenging and confusing transition from adolescence to young adulthood. The PAE practitioners act as mentors to the young people using an effective approach which comes from their own lived experiences alongside an informed understanding of mental health and clinical working. PAE also has a trainee psychologist to offer further clinical expertise.
Through working in partnership with local agencies, the service aims to support young people in resisting gang culture and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.
PAE aims to equip young people with life skills, coping techniques and a positive outlook to pursue the futures they desire. The intervention has a bridging out component where objectives include a marked improvement in young people’s commitment to education, self-confidence and behaviour.
By intervening early with experience and knowledge, the positive can be gained and the negative prevented.