I have known and worked with Leap since 2006 when I supported a team of youth practitioners in collaboration with my colleague. Since then, I have continued to engage Leap as I have led different Early-help teams across London.

Leap’s Fear and Fashion programme is one where I have witnessed the most development and change in group of young people. What I found special about Leap’s work was the trainers’ ability to form strong rapport with the group and skill to hold the space and manage the conflict within the room. When there was lateness or any issues impacting on the group, the trainers would encourage the group to work towards a solution and resolve any conflict together. In essence the work was held within the sessions. The capacity of the trainer’s relationship with the group and especially my colleague enhanced the work considerably.

Over the weeks, trust grew and brought the group closer together. The young people felt they could be more open – talking about their emotions, bring discussions into other forums, or the impact of seeing violent incident in their community. Seeing the young people apply the learning so quickly and speak so well, grow in confidence was so rewarding and the facilitation enabled this. The group were fantastic.

This work went on to receive several awards and many of the young people who participated went on to work for the council as junior support workers. The young trainers and young people participating were excellent all throughout and we learnt a great deal from them especially. It was very rewarding to see the young people who completed the course deliver sessions as peer advocates in provisions across council and UK wide.

The work has had a profound, positive impact on me and all those I work with, professionals and young people alike. I am now in a new role supporting children and families as the child(ren) transition from primary school into second school. I am very much looking forward to working with Leap in this role as I know their work continues to have a powerful impact on young people, professionals and the community.

Fear and Fashion is by purchase only and is an AQA accredited, five day programme for young people aged between 14 and 25 years. It explores the use and effects of knife crime, for individuals and the community. Young people discuss their experiences and reflect on change they want to see. Throughout, young people learn facilitation skills and are equipped to deliver a workshop to others post training.  To express an interest, please complete a referral form.