Our Communities Award 2019: Contribution to Children and Young People – WINNER ANNOUNCED!

WINNER: Samantha Harrison, Reach out Pellon

Samantha has consistently delivered outstanding work with and for young people
in the community. Over the past three years Samantha Harrison and the Team at
Newground Together have worked with young people in the community to identify
their needs and work with them to develop a programme of activities and support
for young people in the area.

There was a significant problem with anti social behaviour in the area where taxi
and bus drivers were being targeted by young people. Samantha and the team hit
the streets to engage with these young people and find out what was causing
their behaviour and challenge them. Samantha explained the consequences of
their actions and the impact it was having on the individuals they were targeting
and the community.

Samantha identified that there was not enough provision for young people in the
area. The Community Centre was only used one night a week and provision was
not consistent due to staffing shortages. Initially Samantha teamed up with
Calderdale Council to support their sessions at the centre, to ensure that there
was enough staff every week to open. Sam developed a programme of activities
and over time she has developed the programme to include three sessions a
week. She also supports several young people on a one to one.

The centre has been revamped, led by young people and the programme
continues to thrive. Samantha has worked with several partners including
Together housing, Halifax Boxing Club, the youth service and Yorkshire Housing
to deliver activities within the community.

The anti social behaviour in the area has drastically decreased since Samantha and the team started their work and Samantha has helped a lot of individual young people in the community overcome personal barriers as well as working with them as a group.

For example, supporting a young dad to have contact with his children and supporting young people into work.

Samantha accompanied a family into school when their child was at risk of exclusion and needed additional support. Samantha facilitates awareness activities that support young people to think about their choices relating to things like; alcohol, bullying, drugs and relationships.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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