Swanswell helps inspire young people in Coventry

06 August 2012

Swanswell is working with a charity called The Challenge Network as part of a four part programme that inspires young people to do positive work in their communities.

Swanswell – a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use – is working with a group of 16-year-olds currently undertaking The Challenge programme as part of the wider government scheme, National Citizen Service (NCS).

The Challenge puts young people through a series of individual, team and community tests that help people from different social backgrounds to build friendships while learning key skills including teamwork, leadership and communication.

Swanswell was asked by the charity to talk to a group of 16-year-olds last month, providing information about the hazards of alcohol and drug misuse.

It comes ahead of a session in September, when the young people will spend the day volunteering at Swanswell as part of the social action component of the programme. 

The day will include them using computer game-based technology to help people overcome addictive behaviour.

The team will also spend other weekends in September carrying out two unique community projects they have designed, including a sponsored activity to raise funds for Swanswell and a project that addresses an issue within their local area.

Liam North, Swanswell’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate and project lead, said: ‘The Challenge Network approached us to work with a group of young people as part of a programme that helps them build and develop trust, responsibility, understanding and empathy within communities.

It’s something we’re keen to promote too as alcohol and drug misuse can affect any community – whether that’s someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, other family member or friend.

The young people working with us through this project will have the opportunity to take what they’ve learnt and put it to good use by challenging negative stereotypes and building strong relationships in their local communities.’

Kelly O’Connor, Assistant Programme Manager for the Challenge Network, said: ‘These young people volunteer their time to work with us in their summer, it’s an extremely rewarding experience for challengers and staff. This is when we see young people really find their voice with in their community’.

To find out more about Swanswell including the services it provides, visit www.swanswell.org.

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