BAYSE Youth Club improves young people’s life chances

Dozens of young people and their families on the Brookhouse estate in Salford are engaging in community life through the BAYSE programme.

ForHousing was aware that many youngsters on the estate in Eccles were becoming increasingly disenfranchised.

Incidents of anti-social-behaviour were on the rise, and children complained about a lack of community activities. A number of children, some as young as eight, expressed their desire to become part of the ‘Brookhouse Crew’ gang.

ForHousing and its partners in the community knew that this would result in a rise in crime on the estate, and were keen to intervene to create safer communities and opportunities for people to transform their circumstances.

Many short-term interventions had been tried, however, funding had often meant partners were unable to work with the community over long periods.

ForHousing worked with Salford Community Leisure to set up the BAYSE youth club in April 2015 for children aged eight to 16.

This project aimed to break the cycle of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in the community by encouraging young people to engage in activities and learn new skills that would raise their self-believe and aspirations for the future.

The group meets twice a week and provides a wide range of activities for youngsters, such as:

  • Gym fitness sessions
  • Sports competitions
  • Arts and crafts
  • Dance
  • Fire Safety workshops and family events in the community

BAYSE which means, Brookhouse Arts Youth Sports Education, was named by the young people attending and activities have been created and planned with their input.

In its first year more than 130 young people attended the sessions, with a third of those taking part saying the project had stopped them being bored and kept them off the streets.

Children also reported that BAYSE had improved their life chances and community cohesion, reduced their likelihood in being involved in anti-social behaviour and allowed them to learn new skills.

Other partners, such as youth workers, attended the sessions, giving them unprecedented access to a section of the community that is often hard to reach to talk around issues such as drugs, alcohol, crime and health and safety.

Chris Smith, Sport and Leisure Officer, Salford Community Leisure said the project was having a huge impact on the estate. “We targeted young people aged 8 to 16 because we knew we had challenges engaging with them, but just by being on the estate for two years we’ve to parents as well and they are becoming involved.”

To give the project the greatest chance of long-term success, funding was secured over five years, with finances provided by ForHousing, The Big Lottery Fund and other partners.

If you know anyone who might benefit from the activities at BAYSE and would like to find out more, or if you’d like to discuss opportunities to volunteer or partner with us on community initiatives, please contact ForHousing.