We set up The Lab as a weekly, open access music studio in response to local needs arising from consultation with young people. The majority of the participants who attend are at risk, and many have chaotic lives. Like all of our projects, The Lab is supported by a specialist staff team offering pastoral support. This includes: a Senior Youth Worker; a Serious Youth Violence Specialist who comes from the same community as the participants and does a lot of work with the young people around behaviour, personal risk assessment and conflict resolution; and an in-house Youth Domestic Violence Specialist that we refer participants to, if necessary. This team is coordinated by the Project Manager, who works in partnership with the police, social workers, pupil referral units and the local Youth Offending Team to ensure that young people are sufficiently supported.
All of our work is underpinned by our Safeguarding Policy. All project staff have at least Level 1 Safeguarding Training, Domestic Abuse and Harmful Sexual Behaviour Training and Managing Conflict and Challenging Behaviour Training. After each session, there is a debrief that all staff must attend. Any concerns, no matter how small, are raised and logged into our monitoring database. This is overseen by the Project Manager, who identifies any patterns or warning signs, and will then develop a strategy with the rest of the team to provide additional support to young people who may need it.
We do quite a lot of this pastoral work as part of sessions. For example, if we notice that a group of 5 or 6 young men have issues with their attitude towards females, we will design some bespoke activity for this group that we can use as an intervention to address these negative attitudes.
Taken from Art Against Knives