Hawtonville: Our biggest challenge yet

In June 2013, the Trent Bridge Community Trust launched a second incarnation of the much-heralded Positive Futures scheme.

The rollout in Hawtonville has focused on a new drive to engage young people deemed at risk of social exclusion with a three-year commitment to the town.

“We are tasked with working closely with a maximum of 25 young people each year, who have been referred to us as needing extra support,” said Project Coordinator Mandy Wright.

“However, through our programme of activities, we have worked with upwards of 100 young people.”

Mandy has been working in the heart of the community with an aim to unite the existing service providers in the area. Partnerships with Newark & Sherwood District council and local schools have allowed Mandy and her team to deliver their scheme effectively.

“One of our main challenges when arriving in Hawtonville was getting the existing providers on board with our project,” said Mandy.

“We had to make them realise we weren’t just there to duplicate what they were doing, and now we’re working with them and supporting them in their delivery areas, too.

“We found our niche in offering services and activities between five and seven in the evening, and established that those times were when young people were most likely to be at risk of crime and antisocial behaviour.

“It has proven to work really well. Those providers who were tentative with our presence have turned around and been really supportive of Positive Futures.

“We’re not only hitting the targets that we were aiming for, but theirs as well.”

Positive Futures’ impact in Hawtonville has been noticeable, and the partnerships proving fruitful for all of the parties involved.  Indeed, for Mandy, the project’s biggest success to date brought the best from all of the providers involved.

“The project’s success story thus far was the joint programme of activities offered through the summer between all of the service providers,” she said.

“A single information booklet was produced outlining all of the events that every provider was scheduling.

“It was excellent, where parents had previously had as many as ten different leaflets, this time they had one comprehensive guide.

“It went down very well in the area, attendance was very good, the feedback from parents was excellent and the other providers were happy because it displayed how well we can all work together.

“Because that was so successful, we are trying to do it again where we have two week holiday blocks, especially during the Easter and Summer Holidays this year.”

As it stands, the Hawtonville cohort of 25 is the project’s maximum capacity, but if their successes continue, there is every chance that they will be able to expand numbers and also widen their area of focus, developing the project even further.

“We have seen the difference that this scheme makes to so many young people and the transformation in attitude and outlook is remarkable.”
Mark Worrall – Trent Bridge Community Trust Trustee

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