‘IMPACT FACTOR’ DAYS
Impact Factor Days are thought-provoking, interactive, fun workshops for young people to inspire them to focus on their future career and goals and look carefully at the barriers that might prevent them from being successful. They are also designed to help young people to think on a broader scale than just simply on their attitude and behaviour by briefly focusing on their interests, hobbies and how poor decisions and bad friends can affect their future career options and narrow their career and life choices.
To deliver these ‘Impact Factor’ days we work in partnership with an expanding number of statutory and voluntary sector organisations who volunteer their time to provide this valuable service. Among the partners who play a key part in supporting these young people are:
Other services volunteering their time to deliver this programme include agencies concerned with Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence, Sexual Health, and Drugs & Alcohol Abuse. The specific workshops provided will vary from Impact Day to Impact Day, depending on which partners are available, but the range of workshops includes:
An interactive workshop focussing on arson and its consequences, the science of fire, dangers of accelerants and providing the opportunity to dress up in fire gear. Video footage from a house fire (including the actual 999 call) shows the reality of firefighting and highlights the need for a working smoke alarm. A discussion is pursued on causes of fire and the distinction between accidental and deliberate fires. The legal implications of arson are discussed and the group investigates the motivators for setting deliberate fires, such as profit, revenge, anti-social behaviour, crime concealment and mental health issues. Examples of these are given. A final DVD called “Jack’s Story” tells the story of a 13 year old boy who plays with fire and petrol and suffers severe burns. An in-depth interview with Jack and his mother detail the incident itself and his subsequent treatment and operations. The group explores the decision making process and the widespread consequences for Jack. The risks of using aerosols and/or accelerants are focussed upon and other examples are given to highlight the risk of products that are a part of our everyday life.
Originally conceived and created as a response to a dramatic increase in knife murder, this workshop goes right to the core of group offending. The doctrine of joint enterprise and criminal responsibility applies to every criminal offence but is addressed via the hard-hitting medium of a homicide-based presentation. At the heart of this presentation is a specially commissioned, award winning, 18 minute film based upon the true life experiences of three young men who are serving life sentences for murder as a consequence of joint enterprise. This powerful, moving and inspirational documentary is a catalyst for debate. Presenters are volunteers drawn from across the Command, all of whom are experienced homicide detectives.
CEOP aims to protect children from harm online and offline, and works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. Using a range of films, the CEOP workshop aims educate young people to identify features of an exploitative friendship or relationship in contrast with the development of a healthy relationship, and give them clear information about how to report abuse and access support.
The ‘Decisions & Consequences’ presentation has been designed to encourage young people to think about decisions they may need to face as they move through secondary school and grow into young adults. Focus is made on the consequences which could have tragic life changing implications for themselves, their families and their communities. It is a visually impactful presentation which contains footage highlighting the serious effect violent crime has on victims and their families. Key facts and figures around shooting and knife injuries are also presented. The presentation highlights the increased number of females becoming involved in gangs and how they are used within a crime. Because gangs believe women are less suspicious in the eyes of authorities, they are also often tasked with acting as drug "mules," smuggling illicit goods into jails, gathering intelligence on rival gangs, and carrying weapons in public spaces. The session ends with some powerful CCTV footage which demonstrates how certain gang members play an active role in a planned stabbing incident.
CO19 are involved in both covert and overt police operations that involve an identified threat to life. The Operation Make Peace presentation is delivered by Firearms Officers on the consequences of getting involved with guns and knives. An interactive component on gangs shows the impact of criminal activity with the use and or storage of weapons. The CO19 Specialist Firearms Officers (SFOs) are multi-skilled officers capable of delivering all elements of armed policing, including rapid intervention and hostage rescue. They are happy to answer any relevant questions.
The London Ambulance Service workshop aims to give the students a better understanding of first aid, hoax calling, resources and response times. The workshop starts with an introduction to the London Ambulance Service and a brief overview of the process from calling 999 to the dispatch of an ambulance, including the modes of transport used by paramedics. The presentation includes an interactive discussion about what constitutes life threatening and non-life threatening conditions and clarification on how to recognise and distinguish between the two. Video footage is used to demonstrate and impart some basic knowledge of the signs and symptoms of a stroke, a heart attack and a cardiac arrest. Following this, subsequent activities endeavour to arm the students with an initial understanding of the FAST test, CPR and the recovery position. In addition, the effects of alcohol on the body are explained, and a discussion is then facilitated on responsibility and consequences of alcohol use and the pressure this puts on the London Ambulances Services’ resources. The final part of the workshop is a questions and answers forum.
Lives Not Knives is an organisation aimed at combating youth crime and gang culture. The workshop is presented by young people that the students relate to instantly. Street culture and language is addressed and a number of activities delve deep into what is a gang and who are gang members. An interactive activity analyses stereotyping and challenges the students on immediate impressions. Being ‘streetwise’ is explored. Many of the students believe they know what to do in certain ‘street’ situations. However the presenters have numerous real life experiences that highlight that what the students think is best is not necessarily so. All the Lives Not Knives presenters are reformed gang members, and they use their experiences to educate children about the dangers of gang membership. These true stories coming from the presenters really strike a chord with classes as the age difference between the students and the presenters is relatively small.
We have found that Impact Factor Days often cause young people to have deeper thoughts or feelings about the topics raised, but that there is frequently no one in school that the young person trusts enough to discuss these topics with. For this reason, following each ‘Impact Factor’ Day we will offer targeted bespoke 1:1 and group mentoring sessions through our ‘Valour Youth Career and Behaviour Mentoring’ service. These sessions focus on issues raised and identified by the young people during the Impact Day sessions. Either the young people themselves or their teachers can refer them to the mentoring programme, if they feel that the topic covered has affected them in some way. We find mentoring is initially more effective than counselling, although some participants may need to go on to more extended counselling afterwards.
Valour Mentors are themselves young people (aged 21+) from various backgrounds, including taekwondo champions, professional footballers and ex-gang members. All of them have a story to tell. Because they have been at the Impact Factor day and shared their personal stories, this allows the young people to share their own stories without prejudice. The mentors help build the young people’s confidence; challenge any negative perceptions they have of themselves; and work with them to improve their emotional, social and physical well-being; and help them address issues such as bullying and anti-social behaviour, which can create social, emotional and employment barriers later in the young person life.
By the end of the programme we would expect to mentees to gain:
· An improved view of self, others and the community
· Greater ability to make positive life choices
· Increased confidence and self esteem
· Tools and strategies enabling them to deal with difficult situations.
All the Valour Mentors are fully experienced and have enhanced DBS checks, List 99 checks and have undergone Safeguarding Training and the Mentoring Training.