Focus is a young peoples' charity that works with some of Leicester City's most vulnerable young people, to re-engage them in to society.
Leicester is one of the most deprived areas of the country, with some areas of the City reporting more than half of children and young people living in poverty and the City has nearly double the national average of people claiming benefits, making youth unemployment a profound issue.
If you are a young person living in Leicester, you are 85% more likely to live in poverty.
We need to act together to change this shocking reality.
Our vision is of a society in which young people are inspired and empowered to have a positive impact in their communities.
We achieve this with a range of services that aim to bring young people together with other people they would not normally meet in order to support and learn from one another.
A key feature of our work is the diverse range of young people aged 13 - 25 we seek to support. Our projects involve young people from different backgrounds and with a variety of abilities working together.
We do not limit access to our services to one specific target group, but aim to involve young people who are in need of support due to one of more factors:
- Not in education, employment or training (NEET)
- Living in care, or care leavers
- Experiencing poverty or economic disadvantage
- Socially isolated
- Lacking in self-esteem
- Academically underachieving
This is not an exhaustive list, but as young people experiencing these situations will be in greater need of support than their peers, they will take priority in accessing our services.
Our philosophy is simple. We believe that through volunteering and community activity, young people can develop the skills and attributes that they need to be successful in their lives. The tangible results of their efforts, the practical skills they develop, and the high levels of support we provide make our projects, programmes and activities powerful and potentially life-changing experiences for young people. Whilst some young people are ready and willing to take up volunteering opportunities, others need a great deal of support and preparation before they can do so.
Our experience has taught us that young people are able to achieve greater personal development from experiential learning programmes, volunteering and community activity than they can from isolated groups or one-to-one work. They are able to develop a sense that their skills, knowledge, energy and commitment are valued by other people; that there is a real impact from their efforts that affects other people; and that the more they learn and develop, the better the outcome for them.
Although we have developed some activities and projects that have enjoyed success over a long period of time, we also regularly consult with young people to develop new project ideas that address their changing needs and interests. This ensures that our work remains valid, useful, and engaging both for young people and for our staff and volunteers.
As a result of participating in our projects, young people will benefit in a number of ways, including:
- Entering or re-engaging with education, employment or training
- Developing their confidence, self-esteem and motivation
- Enjoying raised aspirations
- Developing a commitment to volunteering and community involvement