Charity cash shaping young people’s future

Staff at the Relate office in Chaucer House, from the left, Kim Morgan, Annabel Gray and Rachel Aslet-Clark.
Staff at the Relate office in Chaucer House, from the left, Kim Morgan, Annabel Gray and Rachel Aslet-Clark.

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helping young people have healthy relationships can improve their chances in adulthood as well as make them happier growing up.

That’s the message from Relate Portsmouth and District, which was given a grant of £9,739 by the National Lottery to go into schools and get young people talking about the problems.

The project, named First Aid for Friendship, has already reached hundreds of youngsters in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire in its first few months.

It aims to help young people manage their relationships and, according to the charity, will help prevent social issues like criminality in later life .

Rachel Aslet-Clark, manager of Relate’s Portsmouth centre, said: ‘Being bullied is probably more common than you think.

‘It’s estimated that one in four young people are bullied at some time and most people need help to stop the bullies.

‘In order to win the money we had to provide evidence of need.

‘Our evidence suggested that in our location we found that there was a need for supporting young people who have witnessed abusive relationships or are vulnerable and may be experiencing abusive friendships.

‘Because of low self-esteem we could do some data for the lottery showing that this could cause criminal behaviour or young pregnancy. We got the money on that premise.’

Without the lottery grant, Relate would not have had the money or resources to deliver the project.

Rachel said: ‘We want to ensure that young people in the city who are either experiencing it or wanted to know more about healthy relationships are supported to break the cycle of abuse. We want to help young people to resolve conflict. We were given the money to work in 10 schools and five children’s centres to offer this programme.

‘We were hoping to reach out to 360 beneficiaries. We have worked with small groups from eight children to 240 Year 10 students in Leigh Park on one day.’

Asked how the money has helped, Rachel said: ‘The money gives us in an opportunity to demonstrate the difference and impact and the opportunity to pilot new ways of working.’

The News has teamed up with the National Lottery to give away some great prizes to readers. As part of the campaign we have been highlighting some of the projects in this area that have had a grant from the fund, and today we look at a scheme that is providing help for children and young people in schools across the city.