The Community Youth Project – Newport (formally the Maindee Youth Project) is run from the Maindee Community House on Eton Road in Newport and is funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund.
The project was originally funded in 2019/20 and was recently successful in bidding for further funding for the next three years.
The funding pays for youth workers to provide educational and diversionary projects for children and young people, along with a budget for activities and associated costs.
Young people can self-refer themselves to the project and youth workers also meet young people through outreach and street-based youth work.
The support and activities offered by the Community Youth Project are helping to keep about 75 young people away from crime and antisocial behaviour during the holidays and after school.
One young person started coming to the project displaying negative behaviour which included damaging property, fighting, smoking cannabis, setting fire alarms off, and disrespecting staff.
Other young people told staff that they were afraid. When staff saw the young person in the street, they would ignore them.
Youth workers noticed that the young person seemed to display positive behaviour when dancing, so employed a dance tutor to run sessions at the Community House.
Initially the young person was sceptical and would turn up to sessions late, but after some perseverance became interested. In time the young person was asked to create a dance with friends and perform at a community event.
This was a proud moment for the young person and for staff at the project. It helped improve the project staff’s relationship with the young person greatly and they reported seeing a positive change in behaviour generally.
The young person now spends time at youth club activities alongside other young people who were previously afraid, which indicates that the other young people involved in the project have also noticed the positive change.
The young person takes a lead on supporting youth workers’ expectations, and values and discourages others if they behave negatively. The young person has now signed up for dance qualifications that will allow them to teach others.
One of the most significant changes staff have noticed is that when they now see the young person in the street when doing outreach work, the young person smiles and asks them what they planning next.