Charity The Gifted, helping disadvantaged young people
- Credit: submitted
Seeing a lack of support for disadvantaged young people to unlock their potential by making positive choices, a Herts husband and wife team formed The Gifted
In the past four years, more than 2,000 disadvantaged young people in the county have been supported by The Gifted to unlock their potential.
Husband and wife team Jermaine and Aysha Julie (right) founded the Herts-based charity with the aim of mentoring young people about health, lifestyle, crime, education and other key issues in an innovative way. The Gifted was awarded charitable status in March 2013 and in May of the same year was named as a Future 50 Young Social Entrepreneur/Enterprise by Ernst and Young.
‘We set up the charity to enable young people to make positive choices,’ Aysha explains. ‘We wanted to enable them to create solutions to the issues they face in an engaging and relevant way. Using our experience of working with young people, we could see that the needs of the hardest to engage and disadvantaged young people were not being met and there needed to be a creative and innovative solution. Hence our use of interactive workshops and podcasting.’
The Gifted offers a preventative approach to the problems that affect young people. Programmes help to tackle the causes of crime and low attainment with the intention of preventing future problems and breaking the cycle of deprivation. The founders say those they’ve worked with have told them The Gifted has had a real and positive impact on their lives.
‘We are proud that of the 594 young people we helped last year, 97 per cent reported they had learnt new skills, 87 per cent reported raised aspirations and 80 per cent feel more confident about making decisions and standing up for their rights,’ Aysha says. ‘After taking part in our programmes, 23 unemployed young people either now have a job or have started an apprenticeship or traineeship and a further 16 were not excluded from school.
‘We love working with young people, supporting them to unlock their gifts and creating brighter futures for themselves.’
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Among the many projects running across the county are Butterfly, which supports young women and girls to feel confident about sex and relationships, and Think Like a Father, which helps young fathers to engage with their children.
If you have a passion for helping young people and would like to support The Gifted, the charity is always looking for volunteers. It could be as office support, holding a cake sale, mentoring a young person or providing expert support such as marketing, accountancy or legal expertise.
To donate and support young people create brighter futures for themselves, visit thegifted.org.uk