A safe space for young people

St John the Evangelist Church in Palmers Green
St John the Evangelist Church in Palmers Green

Jenny Godfrey on a new project in Palmers Green to help empower young people

We have started an initiative called Palmers Green Youth Provision (PGYP) at St John’s Church, aiming to empower young people to learn important life skills and get involved in activities which will help boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Giving young people a sense of ‘belonging’ can also help to prevent gang and knife crime and we have discerned this is much needed in our community. PGYP is comprised of three elements, aimed at young people aged from 14 to 18 years.

The first is a Friday afternoon session called ‘outside the box’ – starting on 13th March – where young people can come after school to be safe and have fun with others.. Every term we will offer a six-week life skills workshop, run by local community volunteers. Enfield Council is the initial provider, we will then have others come in to work alongside the volunteers that we have recruited.

The second provision is called ‘free spirit mentoring’. We are in the process of training up volunteers from the local community to mentor young people, involving pursuits such as gardening or arts and crafts. This will be done in co-operation with other agencies and schools.

Finally, we are offering a support group for parents and carers of young people who are vulnerable and have got involved with gang and knife crime. This group will meet every two weeks and is aimed at parents and carers who need support.

All three of these elements will be run at the church, but our helpers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. You don’t need to be a church-goer to attend. The idea is to bring the whole community together to help our young people be safe and make a difference. We have the support of local businesses and the police and all volunteers will have basic training and are DBS checked to comply with safeguarding regulations.

We are also very grateful for all the support and donations we have received from our local community so far. They say it takes a village to raise a child – in our case it is the wider Enfield community that is coming together to keep our teenagers safe!

For more information about PGYP:
Email [email protected]