free@last offers a variety of support and projects that provide opportunities for people to come together and learn new skills, have fun and improve their quality of life.
Youth work is one of our core strengths and we put a massive amount of time, resources and energy into providing support and opportunities for the children and young people of Nechells. This work has taken many different forms throughout the last 18 years, some have been consistent throughout, like the youth clubs, whereas other projects have been reliant on funding, staffing or resources.
We have supported many young people and have great pleasure when we see them grow into responsible, caring and purposeful adults. There are many different forms that youth work can take and free@last have used many of these methods over the years but our focus is always on building long term relationships where we are trusted and available for the children and teenagers of Nechells.
GENERIC YOUTH WORK
The heart and sole of free@last is focused on the children and young people in Nechells, with the aim of broadening their horizons through a plethora of opportunities and unconditional support to help them through the difficulties they face on a daily basis. We are a needs led organisation that builds positive, meaningful relationships with the children and young people. Through these relationships we are able to constantly adapt and develop our work to reflect the desires and dreams of those we are here to serve.
Our generic youth work seeks to enable groups of young people to increase the range of choices and opportunities available to them, in order that they may have new and diverse experiences and increase the influence that they can have in the decisions that affect their lives.
Our youth clubs are aimed at providing a safe and fun environment for children and young people chill out and relax. This is generally the first access point to our more intensive services and programme and are aimed at creating a wide variety of activities that will be accessible and attractive to all young people in our community.
NECHELLS YOUNG LEADERS
Our Nechells Young Leaders programme aims to boost the profile of the young people in Nechells, making them known as a respected, loyal and helpful group of mature young adults. As well as having workshops with business owners, council leaders and statutory agencies we have previously been to Bulgaria to support young people from FSCI Bulgaria. The modern day NYL’s have been trained in a 4* hotel and now help in a variety of other services within free@last, taking responsibility seriously and making a difference to others.
We want to provide our young people with opportunities to explore…
Music, Production, recording, Digital and ‘real’ instruments, as well as singling and songwriting.
Djing, Learning to setup and mix music, as well as performing in the centre
Photography, taking pictures and using Photoshop
Vidiography, Shooting video in our green screen room and video editing in our design studio.
To celebrate the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham in 2022, we have developed partnerships with many different sports clubs and National Governing Bodies, to provide opportunities for our children and young people to experience 30 different sports. these include British Judo, WASPS, British Cycling, Aston & Erdington rugby clubs, and many more. Working with these clubs and organisations will significantly increase the access to sports which would otherwise not be available to our children.
DADS DO IT TOO!
Even before free@last began, we were supporting the dads who joined Dads do it too! From dads only sporting activities to workshops aimed at creating fun memories with their kids, Ddit! enabled many dads to fulfil their fatherly role. We have supported individual dads through court processes, as well as many other issues like employment and financial challenges, relationships, gaining access and even how to fulfil their role whilst in prison. Our specialised training courses and consultancy work have enabled hundreds of professionals to develop their own dads support too, making us one of the UK’s leading specialists in dads work.
WELFARE BENEFITS & DEBT ADVICE
We provide free, confidential advice on any debt issue or benefit claim for people in Nechells. Our highly-experienced adviser is able to guide and support you through the financial difficulties you may be experiencing.
Over the past 13 years, we have reduce debt and increased benefit entitlement to over £25 million, supporting hundreds of individuals and families through the stress and pressures of financial poverty..
We are passionate about adventure and enabling children, young people and families to experience new opportunities away from our community, whether it be attractions in Birmingham or further afield. A bug hunt in a forest or a BBQ on a beach, a ride on the train or a day on a farm, all of these and many more will provide adventure and excitement, which in turns broadens peoples’ horizons and opportunities.
Although we provide a wide variety of trips and residential experiences for young people we also like to involve the whole family and aim to provide several opportunities per year for the whole family to go camping or use youth hostels to spend time together and have new experiences. We have been to a variety of venues around the UK and tried many new experiences, like surfing, trout fishing, midnight walks under the stars and cooking on real fires.