Services for Young People (SfYP) delivered an exciting interactive programme for young people aged 11-17 over the summer holidays in all districts of Hertfordshire. The aim of the programme was to provide young people with information and the necessary skills to explore positive solutions to challenges they may be facing and to reflect on their aspirations for the future.
The Positive Pathways programme has been developed to offer advice and support in a safe place through a variety of creative activities and physical and informative group challenges. These allowed the young people to discuss issues affecting them and to learn about the diverse experiences others may face. This included learning about the impact of antisocial behaviour; the law, hate crime and coercive control; conflict resolution and appropriate reporting channels.
As part of the discussions about personal safety, young people were given the opportunity to discuss local issues and scenarios where they may need to keep themselves safe in the community. The Stevenage team reported significantly improved awareness and personal safety planning by participants at the end of the programme. The discussions prompted a number of follow-up activities across the districts. For example, the St Albans team has arranged for the police to visit one of their projects to give young people the opportunity to ask them questions directly. Additionally, the Stevenage Youth Council will be creating a personal safety poster to go out to all schools in the autumn term.
Participants engaged in a wide range of activities at the Positive Pathways summer programme, allowing them to develop new friendships, express their individuality and develop their communication and problem-solving skills.
A focus on collaboration ran through all sessions and by taking part in scavenger hunts, quizzes and other team games, young people were able to gain an increased sense of self-worth by working as part of a team.
To support their mental health and mindfulness, young people expressed their positive affirmations and aspirations including through rock painting, creating street art with giant chalks and mindful colouring. The young people loved taking part in a range of sports on offer at all sessions from football to ‘mini-Olympics.
Young people who attended, gave us the following feedback about the Positive Pathways summer programme:
“I have enjoyed exploring my future and goals, it has helped me choose what paths I need to take to get there.”
“I have liked having people I can talk to over the holiday.”
“I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt; it was great fun but hard!”
“I like how I have been able to just be myself, just get to spend time with new friends, having fun while thinking about future life.”
Feedback from professionals:
“It is really great that SfYP are offering such inclusive summer projects when we know young people can really struggle with their mental health over the holiday period.”
“I am really happy to see SfYP offering continued support to our students, they always enjoy the sessions, and you can see their faces light up when talking about the projects.”
All the young people who attended have been signposted to local term-time projects to continue receiving support from Services for Young People.
Details of our autumn 2022 projects can be found here: