Awareness and prevention
Changing Lives is an early intervention and prevention project aimed at raising children’s awareness about the dangers of gangs, knife crime and drugs; helping to prevent them from becoming involved in criminal activity.
The programme helps to encourage young people to engage in sports and activities, which keeps them focused and shows the potential for life outside of gangs.
The sessions consist of two hours of sporting activities, music and drama workshops, plus an hour of mentoring and behavioural workshops provided by Essex Police and the NHS. In the past, this has also included first aid training.
The programme receives referrals from schools, local authorities, social services and Essex Police, for those children most at risk. The most vulnerable are collected by a minibus and brought to the sessions.