Darren Richards and Beth Whitehouse

Beth Whitehouse, Reflex Head of ProgrammesReflex LogoDarren Richards, Head of ReflexDarren and Beth gave an interview and reported back to us about their work with Reflex on Sunday evening 20th May during our Evening Celebration. Reflex is part of Youth for Christ. Here are some of the things they shared with us for our reflection, action and prayer.

70% of young people released from prison reoffend within one year….

Youth reoffending is a massive problem in the UK. Despite the Government’s concerted efforts to reduce the number of young people in custody, during the August riots the youth prison population reached a record high. Rioters had, on average, 11 previous convictions; with 9 out of 10 already known to police.

Most young offenders are trapped in an endless cycle of offending; they must not only convince others to give them a second chance, but they must also overcome their own internal struggles, insecurities and addictions: 1 in 4 have suffered abuse, 1 in 4 have learning difficulties and 70% grow up without a father-figure. Gangs typically prey on these vulnerable young people with low self-worth and no real job prospects.

This is why Reflex are disarming the gangs and giving young people hope for the future, by partnering with churches and charities to place youth workers, called ‘Outreach Workers’, in youth prisons (“YOI’s”) across the country. Reflex Outreach Workers run youth clubs and chaplaincy groups, deliver creative accredited programmes and facilitate mentoring schemes; they are specialists in helping young people move forward with their lives, diverting them away from gangs and helping them settle back into society.
An independent evaluation recently verified that Reflex approach leads to a reduction in offending.

In short… Reflex exist to empower children, young people and young adults to break the cycle of offending and reoffending. In 11 prisons, across 5 regions, they equip young people with the skills, confidence and opportunities to realise their full potential. Using a tried and tested methodology: ‘creative reflection – positive expression’, Reflex help young people reflect creatively on their lives and positively express their hopes for the future.

Find our more: www.reflex.org

Music Video http://vimeo.com/260434

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25th May 2012 Posted in: Living Stones by Stella Jennings 0

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