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Young People's Area

Media

"I'm Walking A Life"

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"Whitney Spoken Word"

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"Young People Performing A Song"

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Experiences

"Be good to be close to family and those supporting you"

"Intelligence is more than School smart"

"Young people aren't out of reach. Services are out of reach"

"I just tried to stay out of trouble, connect with family and friends and get early release"

"The word education isn't a great word"

"Young people need a second chance"

"If someone's got something to lose they will fight to keep it"

"Don't judge a book by its cover"

"Knowing your rights and entitlements means you feel more empowered"

"If I complain, I don't think anything will happen"

"The long term affect is massive, but the decision is based on the judges mood"

"Young people should be involved from the beginning"

About Us - Peer Power
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About Us

Peer Power is a social justice charity that is rooted in the promotion of empathy

We support vulnerable children and their workers to develop strong and trusted relationships, improve emotional health and well-being, and to work together to transform services for children in need.

Peer Power staff have experience of these support services, resulting in accelerated empathy and engagement with this group of ‘hard to reach’ children and young people.

Peer Power has been developed in response to what this group of young people have said would make a difference, and its work falls into three strands:

  1. Relationships: promoting empathy, understanding of life stories and development of consistent, trusted relationships. Find out more
  2. Involvement: promoting and demonstrating young people’s meaningful involvement in services at an individual and policy level. Find out more
  3. Employment: providing supported employment and opening up career routes for people with lived experience of support services. Find out more

Why we exist

The children and young people that we engage with are some of the most socially excluded and unheard voices in our society.

  • 92% have experienced loss or rejection, through bereavement, family breakdown or the onset of illness in a parent
  • 60% have a speech, language or communication disability
  • Nearly half of all children in custody are from black, asian, mixed race or other minority ethic backgrounds
  • Children in care are almost six times as likely to receive a formal youth justice disposal as their non-care peers
  • Of children in custody, aged 15-18, a third of boys , and 60% of girls, have spent time previously in local authority care due to abuse and neglect
  • 31% of 13 – 18 year olds in custody were found to have mental health problems, compared to 10% of the wider population

Whats the problem?

For many reasons, these vulnerable young people can sometimes struggle to engage with services that exist to help them: children’s social care, justice, education, employment, and health services.

This means that vulnerable children and young people don’t get the help they need to improve their situations, they are not being kept safe, and public money is being lost on services struggling to reach and support them.

The costs to the public purse of disengagement:

  • The cost to society of adult mental health problems is estimated at more than £100 BILLION
  • Dealing with acute social problems affecting children and young people in England and Wales costs £17bn a year of public money
  • Contact with the Youth Justice System costs £19bn a year of public money
  • The cost of PREVENTABLE health and social care outcomes for young people over a twenty year period has been estimated at £4 Trillion

We believe that trusted, consistent relationships and the development of empathy are essential to children and young people’s development, in particular for those young people with experience of care/youth justice systems. These young people have very often experienced fractured or damaged relationships in the past with family, peers and with numerous professional workers.

It is our belief that systems designed to care for our children must work with due regard to children’s developmental needs and in a way that promotes their welfare, safety and emotional well-being. Without a trusted and empathic relationship in place, many interventions designed to support children in need will fail.

We believe the current systems designed to care for, or rehabilitate vulnerable children and young people are flawed, and that despite having some inspirational staff within them, they can take already damaged children on a journey that can contribute to further damage and trauma to the developing child, with more relationships broken and trust eroded. A system that:

  • Is not fit for purpose, evidenced by high levels of re-offending and high placement turnovers
  • Does not always work with ongoing regard for children’s developmental stages neurologically   and biologically
  • Is not child led/child centred

We are committed to promoting observance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a distinct set of rights and entitlements for children, and particularly in relation to children with experience of the care system and the youth justice system, whose rights are most often not realised.

Our Vision

Our Vision in that all children and young people are supported, understood, and able to contribute positively to society and their own future.

Mission Statement

  • Peer Power believes in the potential of children and young people. Utilising positive psychology and person-centred approaches to improving emotional health and well-being, we support the development of trusting, supportive and consistent relationships to maximise every individual’s potential.
  • Peer Power is a catalyst for positive change. We collaborate and work in partnership with a wide range of professionals and organisations to develop higher standards of empathy, inclusion, diversity, and whole system transformation.
  • Peer Power empowers children and young people. We create platforms for the voices of those with lived experience of the issues, through storytelling and peer engagement to improve empathy, public perception and better understanding, care and compassion for those who rarely have a stake in society.
Young People Engaging At Event