YC Hertfordshire TRACKS programme enabling young people to keep themselves safe

Published: 15 Aug 2019

A group of 13 and 14-year-olds has successfully completed the YC Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council's youth service, TRACKS programme in Broxbourne.

The programme is specifically designed for young people to learn about the realities of gang involvement and how to keep themselves safe from exploitation.

The 12-week programme includes sessions covering violence and the impact on others, drugs, alcohol, healthy relationships, peer pressure and exploitation.

The group took part in a range of activities to help them recognise their skills and abilities, build confidence and develop team work. They have worked together to develop a better understanding of their community, learn about local support services and how they can access them.

The YC Hertfordshire lead Youth Worker commented: The young people have really learnt a lot through the sessions and have grown in confidence and self-belief.

"Young people have shared how they have struggled to engage in education and often would exhibit disruptive behaviours. Throughout the sessions on the TRACKS programme they have developed a better understanding of what they can achieve, individually and collectively.

"They have learnt to communicate and work better together through listening to one another and expressing their own ideas and opinions in a respectful way.” 

Participants shared how much they valued the programme:

“I thought it wouldn’t help me, but I’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with anger and keep calm when I argue with friends and teachers.

“It’s made me re-think how I deal with my anger. Five stars for the programme! The staff are great, and I’ve made some good friends!”

“I used to get annoyed with teachers and get into trouble. I still get annoyed sometimes, but I deal with it better.”

Parents also have taken the time to pass on their thanks:

“My son has really enjoyed TRACKS. He tells me how much he doesn’t want it to end. He’s learnt a lot and the memories he has will make him stop and think about his choices in the future.”

“Thank you so much. I know he’s made memories that he will have forever. And it's these memories that will make him stop and think.”

County Councillor Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: "It is clear from the overwhelmingly positive feedback from both the young people and their parents that this YC Hertfordshire programme has made a big difference to the lives of everyone who took part.

"The experience will enable the young people to make better choices in the future and be less vulnerable to exploitation.”

The TRACKS programme is part of Broxbourne Youth Intervention Project delivered by YC Hertfordshire in partnership with Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council's Targeted Youth Support Service.