Active Essex Foundation partners with Reach Every Generation to make a difference to young lives in Essex

Active Essex Foundation

Reach Every Generation (REG) is an organisation that provides a sports-based intervention programme for young people. Their programme is located at The Base in Chelmsford; a hub for young people to feel safe, make connections and learn life skills and over the summer, REG supported 21 young people.

The sessions have included lessons on choices and consequences, road awareness, aspirations, life skills, anger, respecting women, healthy relationships, grooming and exploitation and many more. During the groups free time, participants utilise the games room playing FIFA, pool and cards, encouraging friendships to form.

REG have provided young members of the group with a range of opportunities, from using gym facilities, to playing football at the local park, and also shopping on a budget in Morrisons. They are currently in process of decorating their venue, with some of the young people helping to paint the walls and learning to spray paint with an artist.

Gavin McKenna, director of REG spoke about one young man; “A 15-year-old had been attacked many times in the community, which had a negative impact on his mental health and caused him to not want to leave the house and smoke excessive amounts of weed. We offered him the opportunity to attend The Base and join the summer provision. At first he was unsure, but we offered him a private visit before the provision to assure him and he agreed to come.

He engaged in the activities and attended a gym for the first time with other young people, which was a positive experience for them all. The young man grew in confidence each time we attended the gym, and he did a bit more each visit. Despite being with so many other young people from all over Essex, the young man began to form friendships. Considering he was afraid to leave his house and hasn’t been to school for 12 months due to fear, he did very well.”

Inviting the young people to the summer provision has generated an appetite for The Base. There has been an increase in young people’s attendance, and many have come back to help finish the refurbishment, including painting and decorating.

The group has been able to help the community in numerous ways, such as providing opportunities for young people to watch a West Ham game and to join in with their local football team. REG have indirectly supported families by working with children to reduce conflict and concerns over young people having free time and causing parents concern due to their vulnerabilities and risk of exploitation. The group took on young people who had previously gone missing, that had held weapons and whom had been exploited or at risk of such things.

REG shared their online video about exploitation with parents and offered a safe space for young people who are vulnerable and at risk of crime, serious violence, and exploitation. Originally the group started with 8-10 young people, which has since grown to more than double this, this allowed them to real difference and have an impact.

Find out more about REG by following them on social media and their website here