We Live Here 2

County Durham Community Foundation often provides funding for pilot projects which go on to develop and make significant impact in the community, leveraging other funding as a result. We Live here 2 is a perfect example of this.

In recent years, the Seaham Harbour area of County Durham has seen an increase in anti-social behaviour among young people, 70% of which is drug and alcohol related. Children as young as five have had regular contact with drugs, alcohol and syringes.

After a successful pilot programme, the We Live Here 2 project was established in 2008, using funding from County Durham Community Foundation, to support young children who have been exposed to substance misuse problems within the family unit.

Thanks to initial funding of £10,000 from the Vardy Revenue Fund, the project really took shape, providing a safe environment for children and young siblings of drug and alcohol misusers to get together and discuss their experiences. The sessions quickly became a success, with a long waiting list building rapidly of other children who needed help.

As a result of this overwhelming demand, the project attracted an additional £33,500 from two other County Durham Community Foundation managed funds, The Esh Charitable Trust and the Comic Relief Regional Fund. This enabled the creation of two after-school sessions each week, and most recently, a drop-in centre for young people aged 14-18 years.

Building trust with children and young people is a major part of the project. The gentle approach to educating and informing the children through indoor and outdoor activities is more engaging than standard teaching methods. Giving the youngsters information and guidance to help them make healthy lifestyle choices really makes a positive impact on their lives.

A member of We Live Here 2 team said “From all the young people at our project we would like to say a big thank you!”