Recruiting: Lead Youth Worker and Community Organiser

Are you driven by love and hope to challenge injustice and inequality? Can you bring people together from different backgrounds to take action for change and build peace?

We need a dynamic, relational, collaborative youth worker and community organiser to lead our peacemaking programmes in Lambeth with young people, families and communities.

Job Title: Lead Youth Worker and Community Organiser
Location: Brixton, South London
Hours: Full time (part time considered)
Contract: 6 months initially, expected to extend for at least 2 years
Salary: £27,000 per annum

Please read full details about the role, the job description and person specification in the Application Pack

To apply, please send an application by email to jobs@chipspeace.org including:
1. A covering letter on maximum 2 sides of A4, ensuring you refer to the Application Pack, particularly the points listed in the Person Specification and the text in the Who We’re Looking For section.
2. A CV detailing your employment and education history

We are seeking to appoint as soon as possible. Applications will be assessed as they arrive and suitable candidates called for interview on a first-come-first-served basis, so please apply as soon as possible. The first round of interviews will take place on the afternoon of 13th March 2020. Please apply by 1pm on Wednesday 11th March to be considered in this set of interviews.

We particularly encourage applications from people from a BAME background.

Please do refer to the Application Pack for full details. If you have further questions or would like to have an informal conversation before applying, please contact Paul on paul@chipspeace.org, 07891 350005, or 020 7078 7439.

Brixton Volunteer

Brixton Community Volunteers
c. 0.5 days a week, with accommodation at heavily subsidised rent

Are you looking for an interesting and exciting way to live out your faith? Are you passionate about peacemaking and social justice? Are you interested in living in South London as part of a christian community? Do you want to join in a story of peacemaking that’s been developing for over 50 years and counting?

Sound like you – or someone you know?

CHIPS has an exciting volunteer opportunity to join our project in Brixton, South London. For the past three years a committed team of volunteers have been exploring peacemaking in Brixton, living in the Loughborough Estate community hosting meals, summer parties, doing youth work – and supporting families when they ask for help.

We are seeking volunteers to move into the CHIPS flats (with subsidised rent) to join in with the life of team and the wider community. One room is available now and another from September 2018.

We are looking for an enthusiastic volunteer ideally with interest in or experience of one or all of the following:

  • youth work in a structured and unstructured setting;
  • community work and engagement with local community groups, including churches and schools;
  • community living, offering hospitality, and group prayer.

You will have a key role to play in shaping the project and helping to facilitate peace in South London and will join a supportive team, with plenty of opportunities for training and development.


Rent is £500 per month inc. bills

There are two rooms in neighbouring flats available, one with two young professionals and one with a married couple and their young son.

Team members are expected to support their living costs with a part time job (c. 4.5 days a week – to enable the flexibility to participate in community projects).

You will have the opportunity to design a volunteer role that works for you and your interests.


CHIPS is committed to safeguarding the children and young people we work with, so the appointment is subject to a DBS check.

Please get in touch with Angharad (angharad-thain@hotmail.co.uk) if you have any questions and are interested in getting involved with CHIPS.

 

 

 

Taking risks growing up

Did you know that of the top 10 children’s films, not one doesn’t involve an adventure? It doesn’t matter if you’re a fish or a puppet, coming of age is all about getting up, getting out, and exploring. That’s because growing up is all about discovery: what are the new boundaries, how far can you push the limits? Adventure and exploration help us test these new possibilities. When many of us think nostalgically back to our childhoods, fond memories of adventures with friends, climbing trees, or cheating at Monopoly come flooding back. And any youth worker (or neurologist) could tell you that these are teaching moments. Don’t climb dead trees, don’t cheat. Our brains are learning how to take risks – and how to work out what’s too risky. Studies (and life) show that our teenage years are marked by the heightened enjoyment of risky behaviour as we seek out ways to test childhood boundaries and old rules. We will never enjoy taking risks more as we work out a whole new world, and where we need to take more care. For young people living in Angell Town, opportunities to get out and explore in a safe yet challenging way are not there. With stories of violent stabbings and police spot checks coming from every corner, parents are rightly cautious about allowing their children the freedom to explore their neighbourhood and city. Without healthy risks, we see young people turning to unhealthy ones: taking drugs and drinking, getting involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, and running errands for gang members. These unacceptable risks are having lifelong impacts. At CHIPS, we don’t like this pattern of risk-taking. We’re taking young people from the estate on fortnightly minibus trips to do something that’s just a little bit risky and challenging. Young people plan the trips, which develops organisational and leadership skills, with CHIPS simply facilitating the trip. From ice skating to trampolining, these are opportunities for young people to let their guard down and enjoy themselves. A chance to have fun, and also to have conversations – with young people and deepening their relationships with each other, and us. We don’t want to see broken legs – of course – but these trips are a brilliant opportunity to see young people exploring – and exhilarated.

Therapy takes to the streets

All around us services are waking up to the realisation that mental health is an insidious issue hitting deep within our society. From the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police  downwards, people are taking stock of how far we are falling short in care, and what the long-term impact of this will be.

It’s not hard to see why people are paying attention: in our schools, four in every five 12 to 16 year olds report feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. In our prisons, over 90% of the whole population are identified as having one or more psychiatric disorders.

The correlation between violence and mental health is becoming clearer, but nowhere is this link hitting harder than in young people caught up with gangs and youth violence. Across the board services are struggling to cope; in Lambeth alone, only 17% of mental health need is being met.

The people best placed to recognise these problems are not properly equipped. Schools are stretched to capacity, and most teachers do not have the training to identify need or signpost young people to services. Meanwhile youth projects on the estate lack consistency and longevity in building the relationships needed to recognise and support mental health issues in young people.

At CHIPS, we are providing early intervention mental health support to vulnerable people across the community, but in particular to young people. These services are typically seen by young people as untrustworthy and remote, so we are going to be delivering therapy in a street-based, young person-led setting. With clinical experts at MAC-UK our team have been trained to take what works in the clinic onto the streets.

This is where we work best, and where we have been building relationships since 2015. Addressing these underlying factors through informal and consistent attention will have a profound impact on the youth violence we are seeing, and the conflict that has affected this community for so long.

Taking both sides in Brixton

We are seeking to build peace between young people from two gang affected neighbourhoods: Angell Town and Clapham Park. Recent Met statistics show a 35% increase in knife crime with injury across Lambeth, and the impact of this spike is felt daily by young people on these estates.

In Clapham Park, 35 young people known to youth clubs on the estate were violently stabbed between 2012-2014, and across the Coldharbour Ward where Angell Town and Clapham Park sit there is three times the London average of violence against a person.

We will be working on these estates to provide consistent, positive relationships with young people. Using community organising methods through our membership of Citizens UK we will be encouraging young people to make changes to their estate and their communities. From asking the local housing office to fix a communal basketball hoop, to campaigning for improved community services or planning and organising a cultural trip, we want to equip young people with the drive and the tools to transform their communities.

Through these small actions, groups will be developing closer ties and building trust and friendship, becoming skilled advocates of positive change in their community.

We are hugely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund who are generously supporting this project, which is the first phase of a longer term plan to do peacemaking work with young people across these two estates. We need your support to make this happen: please consider setting up a regular gift to enable us to pay our key youth workers and community organisers to run this project for many years.