Durham Youth for Christ

Durham Youth for Christ

 Durham Youth for Christ is a local branch of the registered Christian charity Youth for Christ, which provides a range of activities, facilities and resources from their centre in Gilesgate in order to help and support young people, and ensure they feel included. It is managed by six committee members and one paid part-time member of staff, and is supported by fourteen volunteers.

After the charity consulted with Youth Offending Services and Youth Justice System in 2010 they found that young people in the criminal justice system reverted back to offending behaviour when supervision and contact was broken. As a result they set up the Reflex Monitoring Project, which offers young people the chance to meet weekly with a supportive adult on a one-to-one basis. The supportive adult would be a positive role model and would help the young people address life issues.

These adult role models have shown to have had a positive effect and, for the young people who often have complex and difficult lives, the consistent presence of a supportive adult can allow them to believe in themselves and their potential to achieve. All mentoring relationships are established on a one-year minimum commitment.

There are currently nine mentors, all of which are volunteers, and the Youth Offending Services and local schools have begun referring young people to the Reflex Mentoring Project. Due to the demand for mentors, Durham Youth for Christ would like to train sixteen more mentors.

Durham Youth for Christ has received a grant of £1,025.00 from the Paddy & Richard Lowden Endowment Fund, alongside funding from the Tonks Family Fund and the Community Action Fund.