Project Future – MAC UK – (NCCMH)

Project Future is a community based, youth-led project in Haringey, working with young men aged 16 to 25 who may be affiliated with ‘gangs’ or involved in serious youth violence. The project is underpinned by evidence-based psychological approaches, with emotional, developmental and stability needs a central focus, and psychological support built into all the activities. They aim to: improve wellbeing; increase engagement with education, employment and training; reduce offending; and increase stability through access to local services and improved relationships with the community.

Co-Production

  • From start: No
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: No

Evaluation

  • Peer: No
  • Academic: Yes
  • PP Collaborative: No

Find out more

Project Future is a community based, youth-led project in Haringey, working with young men aged 16 to 25 who may be affiliated with ‘gangs’ or involved in serious youth violence. The project is underpinned by evidence-based psychological approaches, with emotional, developmental and stability needs a central focus, and psychological support built into all the activities. They aim to: improve wellbeing; increase engagement with education, employment and training; reduce offending; and increase stability through access to local services and improved relationships with the community.

 

Access

The project does not have referral criteria around mental health diagnoses, but rather operates a peer referral system whereby young people who access the service are introduced by other young people in the project. The young people choose how and where to interact with the team – generally this is at the project base, however they also spend time at other settings including other services. Staff and young people involved in the project also provide consultation to other agencies including prisons, youth clubs and local schools.

Support and evidence-based interventions

The project intervenes at multiple levels impacting on mental wellbeing, for example supporting individual young people, their peer group, the local community and national organisations to create wider social change. To ensure access for young people who may not otherwise engage with conventional mental health services, support is flexible and responsive to needs and delivered during co-produced activities such as cooking (‘street therapy’), and guided by a strengths-based framework for working with socially excluded youth. The team support young people to attend crisis services if needed. They provide help to navigate systems and access support from other services such as housing and employment support, signposting but also actively supporting young people to engage with other services, and supporting services to engage with young people.

 

Coproduction and participation

Young people have been involved in every aspect of service design and delivery. This has fostered an environment that encourages young people to focus on their resources and resilience, rather than problems and deficits, while also ensuring the service is set up to meet the needs of those that use it.

 

Wider involvement

Partners of the project include Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, MAC-UK, Haringey Council, including Community Safety, Public Health, Youth Justice services, the Metropolitan police as well as local community agencies. The partners work closely together through an Operational Management Group and Steering Group to make joint decisions and support the project together.

 

Service evaluation

Project Future is being independently evaluated by the Centre for Mental Health, as have previous multi-agency projects that have implemented MAC-UK’s INTEGRATE model. Evaluation methods have included quantitative and qualitative data collection and youth-led research. Evaluations have demonstrated a reduction in mental health difficulties, an increase in well-being, increase in engagement in employment, education or training, and a perceived reduction in offending in the area. The projects have also had an impact in the wider community, including improving other local services for excluded young people.

 

What makes this service an example of positive practice?

Project Future is pioneering in its approach to making services accessible and meaningful to some of London’s most excluded young people, those who are often labelled as ‘gang members’, in order to address the vast social and health inequalities of this group. The project meaningfully implements the NICE guidelines for community engagement (2016), drawing both structurally and in its daily working on co-production, peer support, an asset-based approach and building capacity locally through operating a multi-agency partnership, including the NHS and Local Authority.

Young people are involved in all aspects of the project’s service design and delivery, which has led to better outcomes for young people, and harnesses their resources and resiliencies, rather than focusing on their problems and deficits. Holistic support is offered to young people, meaning they have fewer systems to navigate, while also building trust through working together on a variety of goals. There is an emphasis on harnessing the expertise of lived experience in understanding how best to support young people.

 

Further details

Commissioning Originally funded by Big Lottery and statutory partners, future funding continuing as a combination of statutory and charitable funding.
ProvidersMAC-UK, and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust and Haringey Council
Workforce (whole-time equivalent)3 clinical psychologists (band 7/8), 1 operational lead, 1 youth intervention specialist,1 assistant psychologist, 4 community consultants, 1 youth employment & development coordinator, 1 trainee clinical psychologist (on placement), 1 clinical administrator and 1 psychology supervisor.
CaseloadBetween March 2015 and June 2017 165 young people have engaged with the project.  Of these 111 have engaged with mental health and wellbeing support.

 

Prevention and resilience – universal and early intervention for at risk                                Crisis
Access and advice – consultation lines, triage and signpostingScheduled care
Early support and brief interventions 
Biopsychosocial assessmentIntensive interventions  

 

 

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