29 March 2012
Islington's Family Information Service has published details of activities taking place over the school holidays .... link here
Here at Urban Hope, we will continue to run all our regular activities + we will be doing lots of extra stuff for children and young people who find themselves with nothing to do
28 March 2012
At Urban Hope we try to give young people the opportunity to experience new things. One of the ways we do this is by organising activity weekends in the country. Last weekend we took 8 young women and one amazing young leader to Hindleap Warren in East Grinsted, to celebrate and end the Beautiful courseOver the last weekend we saw young women overcome challenges, face fears, persevere until they achieved and have loads of fun. Again and again I am amazed at the growth of confidence and self-belief that can occur in such a short amount of time. As well as the change of perspective spending time in another setting can offer. At the end of every residential we do, I need to sleep for hours before I can function at a reasonable level again but it has never been not totally worth it- and every young person we take away says the same.
We have a lot of young people who come into Urban Hope each week who are affected by the places they live. We hear about the high-rise, box-size, community-killing environments that so many young people grow up in, in our city.
I recently watched a 2-part program on 4OD, which was really interesting. The program followed Kevin McCloud exploring Dharavi, India’s most densely populated slum. Dharavi is described as “one of the most extreme urban environments on earth” but this place could show us how our western city planners and architects have gone so wrong.
Dharavi is a world of amazing juxtapositions. Containing open sewers, rats, disease and hazardous chemicals everywhere, but surprisingly it is revered by experts as having the answers to some of the biggest problems facing our Western cities. It is an astonishingly efficient place, which holds thousands of tiny industries and a strong sense of community and a joyous spirit.
The programme gave an amazing insight into community living and how it is so affected and dependent on the architecture surrounding the people.
It’s worth a watch….Click on the link below to viewKevin McCloud Slumming it
7 March 2012
At Urban Hope we have the privilege of travelling with young people as they journey through adolescence. Sometimes those journeys arerelatively smooth and our role is to help them to navigate small bumps in the road. Other times the journey to adulthood takes young people into deep, dark caverns of seemingly endless pain.
For those young people hope is so important, but it’s easy to lose sight of it when confronted with their stories of despair. How do we keep travelling with young people, when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel?
Recently I’ve been reflecting (with some very wise people) on the hope within pain, and have been challenged and reminded that when pain is shared with anyone there is hope.
There is hope because there is recognition that all is not well, and the belief, no matter how faint, that better or different exists, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, the person they are telling might be able to help them toward that. Even if that only means that in those moment, they are not alone with their pain.
The relationships we build with young people at Urban Hope bring hope- to young people and to us. In the dark caverns all we may be able to offer is a sliver of light and a hand to hold, but for those young people it’s infinitely better then travelling by themselves.
This is why at Urban Hope we start building relationships with young people aged 8 and stick with them for as long as they need. We invest time in one to one mentoring with young people. We want to be there as young people face struggles, ready to offer them ourselves and through that bring hope.