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 go to Bulgaria to work with young people who are thrown out of institutional care at 18. FSCI Bulgaria provide a House of Opportunity programme to teach them independent skills, and they also run – HOPe SOAP, which is a social enterprise. (www.fscibulgaria.org/en/social-entrepreneurship/).
Multi – Media
Is a project providing young people the opportunity to have a go at:
Music production and recording
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.
A support group for young parents that aims to assist them in working through this massive change in their lives, whether it be returning to education or developing their parenting skills.
Dads do it too!
This project aims to provide opportunities for dads to spend quality time with their kids as well as with other dads in order that they can support each other in all areas of life. Any dad can receive individual support from the dad’s workers and all dads are invited to get involved in the weekly workshops – bike maintenance, photography, music and arts & crafts.
We also offer support for other organisations to work with fathers, through either training for staff or delivering their fathers support for them.
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.
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.