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The Junction Foundation

The Junction is a local based charity and company limited by guarantee committed to making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and their families. (Charity 1125578 and Registered company number 6648312)

The Junction works in some of the most economically and socially disadvantaged communities primarily in the boroughs of Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough.  It is constituted to work across the Tees Valley.

The Junction provides a range of outcomes focused services to support and enable vulnerable, children, young people and their families.  The Junction consistently works directly with over 500 vulnerable children and young people, with complex needs and achieving a range of positive outcomes.

 

What we do?

The Junction provides access to information, support and opportunities for vulnerable children, young people and their families who live in some of the most deprived communities in the Tees area.  Through its range of innovative and person-centred projects including working with children, young people and their families affected by mental ill health, young people who are homeless, unemployed, misuing substances, young carers or young adult carers.  

Projects include;

engage@thejunction- working with young people aged 14 to 25 affected by mental ill health

The Young Carers service-supporting, young carers, young adult carers and their families.

SUMI Project-Supporting young people who misuse or at risk of misusing substances in partnership with LIFELINE

Talent Match Middlesbrough-supporting long term unemployed young people in Middlesbrough as part of the Talent Match programme

What works-supporting families in Redcar and Cleveland in partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

 

Why do we do it

The Junction exists to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families to support and enable them to deal with life’s challenges now and in the future and tackle the barriers that prevent them from leading healthy, fulfilling lives and striving towards reaching their potential.

Who do we work with?

The Junction works with vulnerable children and young people aged up to 25 years of age who face significant and complex problems often due to the social, economic and environmental factors which are prevalent in our communities.

This includes children and young people who are affected by mental ill health, debt and money issues and who are, young carers or young adult carers, homeless or in housing need, unemployed, or misusing substances such as drugs and alcohol. 

In short children and young people who are at risk of harm or not being able to reach for their potential due to the challenges that they face.


 How does The Junction make a positive difference?

We work with children, young people and their families in a number of complementary, joined up ways including working with partner agencies.  Our experienced, committed workers are passionate about making a difference and we use an outcomes framework which enables us to work with children and young people and recognise the achievement of their positive outcomes

  • One to one support and mentoring

We aim to build up positive trusted relationships, providing confidential, non-judgemental and accessible one to one practical and emotional support and mentoring in the community. 

Our approach is simply to “listen and remember”.  Listening to their issues and problems that children and young people face and working with them to identify their own solutions and outcomes, build on strengths, developing  skills, gaining knowledge, understanding, increasing confidence and self-belief to be able to deal with life’s challenges now and in the future-shaping the adults of tomorrow. 

  • Working with Children and Young people in small groups

We work to bring people together in small groups which are safe, supportive and accessible to, build belief, reduce isolation, inspire learning, gain knowledge and understanding, build trust, increase confidence, raise self-esteem and importantly develop belonging  and the confidence to belong.  We use a variety of creative and engaging solution including The Friends programme to support young people to deal with anxiety, creative art sessions to explore and understanding feelings, developing practical skills such as First aid, staying safe, “buddying” and peer mentoring, teamwork and communications.

  • Social groups

We believe that having fun, gaining experience and having a break are important and valuable in making life better for children and young people.  For many children and young people this is just part of growing up.  However often the children and young people we support just do not get these opportunities.  We know that this approach works well and particularly for young carers.
Groups help to develop friendships with their peers, reduce loneliness and sense of isolation, increase belonging and support the development of positive trusted relationships with The Junction workers, enabling children and young people to informally talk about some of things that may be on their minds often this can open the door to providing one to one support and mentoring.

  • Open Access Information and Support

We provide a safe space from our base in Redcar for vulnerable young people to access practical support, including laundry, telephone, Computer and shower facilities, independent information and guidance for young people who are homeless or roofless, misuse substances and often in crisis.  We also provide access to information including support, employment and training opportunities through our website and social media pages.

 

  • Family Support

We work to provide practical and emotional support for families and in particular families of young carers.  Our aim is to “make life better for young carers”, working with families to put the plans in place and get the right level of appropriate support from other agencies, the community, family and friends to reduce the negative impacts of their caring responsibilities on young carers and young adult carers.  This can include practical support, advocacy and signposting, building awareness, raising confidence and developing positive parenting strategies.

  • Counselling

The Junctions counselling service provides children and young people with a “safe space” to explore and understand their feelings where there are often deep rooted issues or anxieties triggered by significant events in their lives.

Our experience demonstrates that for some children and young people counselling provides opportunities to explore and develop strategies to self-manage themselves, potential stressful situations and their relationships more effectively. 

We support individual children and young people with a range of experiences - including bereavement, family break up, family and peer relationship difficulties, anxiety, and bullying

  • Ongoing support

 We believe that simple ongoing support and “maintenance” is an effective method to deal with further issues as they arise and provide an opportunity to “nip in the bud” sometimes minor things which could develop into problems further down the line.  We will always encourage children and young people to get in touch with us as early as possible so together we can deal with issues

At all stages we work directly with children, young people and their families with them at the heart.  Our aim is empower and enable and to provide sustainable solutions, increasing independence and not dependency.

  • Raising awareness

We work with children and young people to positively use their experiences to raise awareness in the community of the issues and challenges that they face.  Specifically in places where people work with children and young people, including schools, doctors, local authority and with people that make policy decisions which impact on the lives of children and young people.  We provide training and awareness raising sessions and use our website and social media pages to reach more people.

Our work focus on “firing up awareness” of young carers and “reducing the stigma of mental ill health”

  • Creating opportunities and building participation

We positively work to create opportunities for children and young people including volunteering, apprenticeships and employment.  These include Young Ambassadors, Buddies and mentors and a number of apprenticeship and paid employment opportunities.

We are committed to involving children and young people in the decisions that affect them, not only in support that is offered, but in the way The Junction works and develops.  Children and young people are always involved in recruitment of staff and Children and young people’s voices and opinions are vital to us and help shape our future.  We arrange a number of feedback sessions at various levels including to our Board of Trustees, hold an Annual “Vision” day and regularly collect feedback, all of this valuable information and input informs our future development and strategy. 

  • Being a voice

Our workers will always seek to be a voice for children and young people and take opportunities to positively promote, raise issues and provide valuable information in some key strategic forums with other partner agencies, including the local authority, health and education.