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Our Impact

36,822 young people 

were supported by Spark2Life since across London, Kent and Buckinghamshire.

In 2023-2024 alone we worked with over 5,500 young people through our services.

prevention

262
Community Mentors Trained
4659
Positive ETE Engagements

Young people were mentored in schools through group and 1:1 mentoring

April 2023 - March 2024

Young people attended our awareness sessions in schools

April 2023 - March 2024

intervention

322
Community Mentors Trained
260
Positive ETE Engagements

Young people were supported through our Mentoring, Casework and Advocacy programes in the community

April 2023 - March 2024

Young people were reached on the streets through our Detached programme 

April 2023 - March 2024

OUTCOMES

The young people we supported through our services over the last year achieved the following outcomes:  

  • 90% desisted from reoffending 
  • 75% improved their wellbeing
  • 65% engaged with employment, training and education opportunities 
  • 70% improved relationships with others

LIVES TOUCHED

Jay
Jay's story

Jay had suffered numerous traumatic experiences since the age of 15 years, when he was criminally exploited. For years he was affected by violence and he repeatedly became a victim of serious physical assaults. Jay’s relationships with his family were not good, as his mother and sister did not know how to best support him.  

At the age of 17, he was referred for support to Spark2Life where he got to meet his caseworker: a young man who has lived experience and according to Jay “he could understand what I was going through; it was easy to trust him”. The caseworker was there to create a safe space and help Jay find ways to practically keep himself safe. They worked together for nearly one year, during which Jay was guided to choose a life free from crime. It was not an easy journey: during the first few months he was hospitalized after a life-threatening knife attack. His caseworker was by his side during his recovery and while Jay was navigating through the criminal justice system. Jay was supported to desist from avenging. With time, his caseworker helped Joy to feel nurtured and want to explore the impact that trauma had on his emotional wellbeing.  

The caseworker offered advice and consultations to Jay’s mother, who reported: “Spark2Life had a positive impact on my son, especially because the caseworker was at his side during the tough times in court and hospital.”  Jay enjoys spending time with his mom and his sister and he found ways to feel have quality time with them.  

Jay is now attending Spark2Life’s counselling support while he is getting trained to become a mechanic for cars. His caseworker is helping him to increase his employability skills and find a suitable role.

“My Spark2Life caseworker helped me feel happier, and motivated. He was there for me, no matter what. He trusted me and that I can do better, and this helped me trust myself.”  

Darren
Darren's story

Darren was 25 and leaving prison when he was referred Spark2Life by Probation. He grew up in a neighbourhood where drug dealing was commonplace. His brother was involved in a gang and at the age of 13, Darren wanted to join him. Not long after, he got caught up in serious violent incidents, one resulting in him going to prison.  

Upon being released from prison, he was placed in an area that was highly dangerous for him. His mentor worked with him, using his personal lived experience of gang violence and helped Darren to consider and choose more sustainable and positive lifestyle choices. They worked together for over a year, during which his Spark2Life mentor advocated on Darren’s behalf and leading to him moving to a safe area, where he is now thriving! 

Since then, Darren has been supported in looking for a job; he completed his CSE course and is now looking into attending a Railway course. While working with his mentor, he realised that to achieve more, he needs to feel emotionally healthy and learn how to manage his emotions in a healthier way. He then was referred to Spark2Life’s in-house counselling service where he has been attending on a weekly basis.   

Darren is now thriving and often spends time with his parents where he helps h8is dad fix cars and enjoys hanging out with his mum. 

He said to his S2L mentor: “If it was not for you I will still be on the road and selling drugs!” 

He said to his counsellor: “Thanks to counselling, I now understand how to manage my emotions. I trust my counsellor because I learnt how to trust my mentor first”.  

Henry
Henry's story

At just 17, Henry was made homeless following a family breakdown.  Growing up he suffered numerous adverse childhood experiences including witnessing domestic violence and being impacted by his father’s severe mental illness.  

When he was kicked out, although scared and isolated, he managed to find temporary accommodation in a local youth hostel. He was emotionally traumatised and highly vulnerable when he was then criminally exploited by several gangs and leading to him suffering a series of serious physical assaults that resulted in being hospitalised.  

To cope emotionally with his traumatic experiences, Henry developed a serious drinking problem and after a year of living like this, he was referred to Spark2Life. His mentor was patient and compassionate and gradually built a trusting relationship with Henry who slowly started to open up to him. Henry’s mentor helped him to build a positive and healthy relationship with his mum and then worked with them both as well as the housing services to help Henry return to his mum’s house and be safe. During his weekly sessions with Spark2Life, Henry learnt how to make positive decisions, choosing to stay safe and not get involved in revenge attacks or new altercations.  

His mentor helped him become work-ready, look for jobs and exit gang related activity. They completed applications together and met numerous times to help Henry raise his self-confidence. Henry’s new-found skills and confidence helped him to land a role at an events company – a job that he really enjoyed and motivated him to reduce drinking. 

In the meantime, he engaged with alcohol support services and with his mentor’s support, he agreed to attend rehab. His employer was incredibly pleased with Henry’s performance at work to the degree that they have kept his role on hold until Henry completes his rehab.  

“I am very grateful for your support!  Thank you!” 

Winston
Winston's story

Winston was only 18 when he witnessed the murders of his brother and then his friend. 

Unfortunately, he was involved in gang violence and experienced being chased by other young people with knives multiple times. Winston was later referred to Spark2Life and within 2 months of support he accomplished so much; he completed a CSE course and was working on becoming ready for work. He is currently preparing to learn how to drive and is developing life skills that will offer him the chance to make long-term positive choices away from violence and crime.  

Having regular sessions with a trusted adult like his Spark2Life mentor helped him to avoid attempting any revenge attacks and focus becoming ready for work and move to a safe neighbourhood.