Tell us about your organisation, how you started and what you do?
Reach and Unite Outreach and Empowerment (RUOE) CIC is a therapeutic support and childcare service that targets groups of young people who may be vulnerable to marginalisation. This includes young people from BAME communities and young people with complex and behavioural needs.
Our service started when the University of Wolverhampton offered me a place on the SPEED enterprise programme. I received support with business planning, coaching and understanding what type of business model most suited my idea. I also received support from Lloyds Enterprise Programme.
These courses helped me to understand how to plan, prepare and build our company. As well as this support, WVSC have offered courses and advice and some funders have supported us financially.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Our greatest achievements are seeing the impact our service is having on young people’s lives. Our recent evaluation forms revealed that 82% of the young people we are working with feel the service has improved their confidence. We have also received a lot of praise from a number of social workers and schools as they are recognising the impact the service is having on young people.
Some of our successes include working with a 12 year old who was withdrawn and self-harming; we provided intensive support including one to one confidence building and therapy sessions, referring to Early Help and working closely with the school and our activity club.
We also have sensory outreach sessions where young people receive light integrated therapy and a range of other sensory activities.
We have encouraged physical fitness and sport within our activity clubs which, after the lockdown, was extremely beneficial to young people.
Our gang intervention programme has also successfully increased awareness of exploitation and gang involvement for the young people we work with and we have also seen a reduction in police involvement and youth violence for those that we work with.
What is your experience of support received from WVSC?
WVSC have supported us to access funding and we were able to purchase a range of sensory equipment that has directly impacted those we work with and increased our ability to support young people with sensory processing difficulties.
WVSC have also kept us up to date with new funding opportunities, tenders and provided us with a number of free training courses.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Wolverhampton?
My most valuable lesson is that trust is the most important thing when working with people as it can either serve as a barrier or a bridge. When service users trust a service and the way it operates, they are able to benefit from it. However if there is a lack of trust, people will no longer want to engage and may suffer as a result.
What are some of the challenges you face and how can WVSC help to support your organisation in the future?
Some of the challenges I face is not understanding questions in a lot of tenders and funding application forms. I often struggle to grasp what the questions mean so I would definitely benefit from support with that.
Where can we find out more?
Would you like to be featured in our Voluntary Sector Focus? Contact Sharon Nanan-Sen on email@example.com for more info!