Summer programme gives young people alternative life choices

Published: 29 Aug 2019


90 young people from across Hertfordshire have taken part in a full-time two-week summer programme aimed at equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to make positive life choices.

The Positive Alternatives programme was launched by YC Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service, earlier this year in response to a growing demand to help young people find alternative pathways to becoming involved in violence, knife crime and gang culture.

The summer programme took place in YC Hertfordshire centres in Welwyn Hatfield, East Herts, Broxbourne, Watford, Three Rivers, North Herts and Stevenage.

The programme, led by YC Hertfordshire youth workers, included exploring: identity and belonging, gang culture, stereotypes and gender, responsibilities, county lines, knife crime and reducing use of weapons.

Young people also took part in multi-sports sessions and music recording as well as practical workshops in First Aid where they learned how to give CPR.

County Councillor Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “The Positive Alternatives programme helps young people who may be at risk of choosing the wrong path in life to make better, safer and healthier lifestyle choices, with the help of YC Hertfordshire youth workers. Not only does it teach valuable practical skills, it also opens the door for discussions around the real and lasting risks associated with becoming involved in gang culture, violence and crime.”

Young people who took part said:
“It teaches you a lot. I enjoyed the first aid and learning about the effects of alcohol.”
“I have learnt to be more respectful.”
“I learnt to control my behaviour, which will help me at school.”
“I learnt a lot about drugs, addiction and knife crime, and how unbelievably serious it is. I knew it was serious but now I think about how it affects the family left behind.”

For details of all the youth work projects and programmes delivered by YC Hertfordshire, including the evening term time Positive Alternatives programmes, please visit www.ychertfordshire.org

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