Street Scheme

Josh and Asif, two of the leads behind Street Scheme, are Ambassadors and keen to promote both initiatives to the Waltham Forest Community. We interviewed them about the Street Scheme in Waltham Forest.

1.           What made you decide to create the programme?

With personal experience and understanding of the structural difficulties and social problems facing many young people, I have a strong desire to bring about lasting positive change. I also noticed that there was a lack of projects offering immediate employment, which I believe is hugely important in steering young people away from involvement in crime.

2.           What impact has the programme had on young people OR what difference do you think the project will make to young people?

Before joining the programme, the young people that I have been working with were committing a range of offences. While working on the programme, they reported stopping committing all crimes. By introducing them to real world, the programme helps them to understand it’s possible to make a living without causing harm. It provides them with basic employment and education support.

3.           What do you feel young people gain by working with your programme?

They all report a great sense of enjoyment and benefit from working with Street Scheme as well as a sense of belonging. In addition they have commented on the importance of the non-judgmental support which they perceived to be lacking in other formal services. “I can’t work in a normal job as they’ll look at me and I’ll get judged”.

4.           What can local people do to support you?

The best way local people could provide support would be by using the services of Street Scheme (waste disposal), thus giving opportunities for the young people to take part in legitimate employment. We would also appreciate any direct donations for more protective equipment and towards general costs so we can expand the scheme to reach more youths in need.

5.           How do you think the programme and ‘ask me’ can work together? 

By raising public awareness about the programme and helping us to engage more youth in this programme. Also, by helping us partner up with other like-minded organisations who can provide other services to our participants (e.g. sports and musical activities).

6.           What advice would give to others who want to help young people?

Join Street Scheme! Don’t be influenced by negative public perceptions of young people. Ensure you engage in a non-judgmental manner. We have great potential that is being lost to lack of opportunity.

7.           What are the key characteristics of someone who helps young people?

Approachability, enthusiasm, charisma, shared experiences, consistent, patient, trustworthy and reliable.

8.           What are the biggest challenges that people face when helping young people?

Regulations and bureaucracy, lack of experience working in the charity/CIC sector (e.g. fundraising). Lack of support and guidance, fear from adults to engage with youth.

9.           Have you got an example of a young person whose life has been affected by working with you?

We are restricted somewhat in regards to what we mention in this section as these are youths and information has been carefully edited to ensure that we protect the youth. After building the youth’s confidence, one of the young people working with Street Scheme has now built on their skills and is running personal training sessions, earning £20.00 an hour. They are now in a career that suits their needs fully and earns a good living.