New Grant from September 2014 Meeting
Grant Amount £25,740 over 3 years

Through YES+ a team of trained and experienced ex-offenders deliver group work interventions to some of the most challenging and hard-to-reach groups of young people (12-18yrs).

YES+ operates in the South East Region and is referred to by the education sector including mainstream school and alternative education provision, the voluntary sector and youth justice. YES+ works with approximately 3,500 young people per year. All interventions are designed by the team and based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Techniques, personal experience and ‘what works’ research. The identification between YES+ Group Work Facilitators – the majority of who engaged in crime and risk taking behaviours from a young age themselves – and their young client group helps to promote trust, empathy and credibility. This is a key factor in the delivery of the intervention – to divert young people from crime by empowering them to explore social responsibilities and lifestyle choices.

During the course of the development of YES+ and in particular the delivery of crime risk reduction group work programmes, we have had frequent requests for further programmes from service users that address other areas of risk for young people. It has become widely recognised by our service users that the ethos of YES+ which is to base the engagement of young people on identification with our workers is highly effective. The best programmes can be developed and delivered to young people but unless young people are listening and engaging they will have a limited effect.

It has been their experience that sharing personal experiences increases the likelihood of engagement and creates a platform for participants to more effectively connect to the programme material. Their facilitators are also able to share coping strategies and situations which directly relate to the programme content.

YES+ has two interconnected main aims:

  • To promote a positive change in the attitudes of young people, which supports a reduction in offending, anti-social behaviour, risk taking behaviours and becoming NEET.
  • To support the process of rehabilitation and resettlement of ex-offenders by giving employment and training opportunities.

This project is to provide 6 week group work programmes which address:

  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Anger Management
  • Sexual Exploitation and Healthy Relationships


Charity Visit by TDF Rider Nick Banks

On 1st May 2014, Tour de Force rider, Nick Banks joined Graham Gooden from YES+ at a session at a school in outer London. Nick commented;

“The charity visit went really well. The session I watched was on anger management and was the first of the course. I was really struck by the engagement of the kids and how the trainer got them to open up and share some very personal stories. It clearly was making an impact. It was also good to go for a coffee with Graham afterwards and discuss why he set up YES+ and more about how the charity has evolved. He said that WWMT was the first significant donor, without which they wouldn’t exist today. The support has made a big difference and it was inspirational to see the money at work.”