On Friday Nick and I were in London visiting Focus E15 – A Foyer for young people in the London Borough of Newham. They provide support in either a residential or non-residential basis with issues around housing, training, employment and personal development with 90 self contained units it is a busy, vibrant centre
We were there for the launch of their hyperlocal website – East London Know How. The website has been developed as part of a programme we’ve been working on with them with to improve the relationship the residents of the foyer have with each other, and the wider community.
I’ve been working with them to deliver a social media surgery package to support them to use online tools that will improve their communication skills and the website is an opportunity for the residents to connect with each other and to showcase their hidden talents to the world.
Jon Harris and Alisia Myran arranged Fridays launch and are two of the residents who have been involved with the project from the beginning.
Jon uses the site to look outside of the Foyer to share news of things going on and any special offers he sees in shops to make shopping and socialising locally affordable. Alisha uses the site to look inwards - to showcase the talents of the residents to show the outside world that there is more to the people that live there then may be perceived.
I really enjoyed working with this group and they really seemed to enjoy the informal approach of the surgeries – here’s what Alisha has to say about her part in the project.
David Ahern the Foyer support worker had this to say about the benefits of this approach for the young people: