UPTOWN provides support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, with disabilities, young carers and those involved in gangs, crime, drugs etc. Support is provided via a youth club environment which has historically offered five three hour sessions a week targeted at youths aged 11-17, or up to 25 for those with disabilities. Access to UPTOWN is open, but most have been referred by social services. UPTOWN is open to all young people regardless of ethnic background but most are BAME.
Within a youth club environment UPTOWN provides a safe venue to get young people off the streets, to meet with friends, play pool and partake in activities such as music, dance and drama, sports, and arts and craft and has also provided homework support: offering a quiet room, access to computers, internet and printers.
Youths with physical and or learning difficulties are fully included in the youth club and encouraged to develop their social skills and make new friends.
The core philosophy of UPTOWN is to provide mentoring to the youths. We arrange speakers to talk about personal experiences: youths who have benefited from UPTOWN; ex-offenders talking about prison life; victims of knife crime. Workshops are hosted covering budgeting, health, cooking, drugs ,alcohol, domestic violence, mental health, bullying and anger management etc.
An integral part is encouraging education and training: youths are provided with support for school attendance, behavioural, bullying, home life issues. Year 11’s are tracked to ensure they have secured education, training or employment placements and the younger children, supported through their transition into secondary school; and we provide accreditation, volunteering placements for young people and training such as first aid.