London Based Youth Empowerment Project Launches Safe Space Scheme

The YANA Project is launching the Safe Space series of workshops from 15th May 2018, to last for 4 months up to the UK school summer holidays.

Founded by Social Entrepreneur, Businesswoman and media personality Jenni Steele, the Yana Project aims to work with young people from diverse backgrounds who have directly been affected by gang-related violence, sexual grooming, exploitation, domestic violence and abuse. This initial series of workshops will be focused on girls and young women. The aim of these workshops will be for girls to openly discuss all of the issues that they are challenged with. There will be an event organised in partnership with Juvenis called Brunch Brothers where boys will get the opportunity to have supportive conversations and to share their experiences.

The Safe Space scheme will provide places for young people to go to make connections, learn from role models, access services and become decision-makers in their lives. The 4-month long initiative aims to enhance inspiration, encourage aspirational thinking and build confidence within the young people taking part and ultimately it will create positive change for the future.  Creating safe space environments within school and providing young people with social and emotional security builds strong foundations of self-worth that can last a lifetime.

Jenni’s youth work and advocacy experience has shown her that not enough young people have a safe space environment around them to get the support that they need when things go wrong in their lives. This can stem from a number of barriers; they may not know it exists and they may not even realise what they are going through and how it could be affecting them now or in the future.

When working and supporting young people Jenni recognises that every single one of her young clients has a different journey and a different way of expressing themselves. Many young people do not have an outlet or a place they feel safe or comfortable to talk or issues that affect them further.  This is what led her to launch the Safe Space initiative through the Yana Project.
The Safe Space scheme will take place once a month in a school in Lambeth from May 2018 until July 2018 with various female role models covering topics of interest chosen by the young women at the school. It will be hosted by Jenni Steele who will provide support, guidance and mentoring to all the young people who take part.

“In my line of work many young people will be missed, fall under the radar. How do we educate, support, signpost, inspire and motivate them if we don’t know they exist? It’s all about relationships!” – Jenni Steele

Jenni Steele is an experienced mentor and social entrepreneur who has and survived teen domestic violence. Jenni works with the statutory agencies to ascertain the long and short-term impact of their traumatic experiences, develop a care pathway, harness and empower the young people to develop their key skills. By ascertaining the levels of need for young people the Yana Project’s Safe Space can support them to establish healthy coping mechanisms. The long-term purpose of the program is to help the young people to recognise and accept their self-worth, build their confidence and recognise situations that pose risk and reduce the long-term harm.

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