Project information

Greenwich Meantime - encouraging inclusiveness

To facilitate social inclusion on two housing estates where young people are perceived as “problem-makers”. Greenwich Meantime will train volunteers & develop intervention strategies for small, local, estates identified by services as being “problem estates” with a large proportion of young people.

January 2015 - July 2015

Charity information: Act for Change

Act for Change logo
  • Need


    While there is limited research in the UK on the analysis of the effect of poor housing on well-being and health, one's immediate social and economic environment and the way that this environment interacts with one's psychological resources and coping skills, shapes health much more strongly than the medical model would suggest" (Dunn 2000). Our work with young people develops their psychological resources and coping skills and indicates that it in turn also shapes educational attainment.


    Act for Change will run an induction training for residents of the housing estates and volunteers, nurturing the social skills needed by those at-risk, to survive life on these estates and to build sustainable communities around young people, before they have to offend or come to the attention of the authorities. In the process, we will engage with local youth groups, community centres and residents. The project will facilitate social cohesion and build sustainable communities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To go with an open mind onto a housing estate and find out what it needs, what are its concerns.


    » Residents and volunteers to research the history of their estate, reporting back to the community how to intervene as part of a larger process.
    » Run an open forum on each of two estates with residents ensuring each voice is heard, particularly the voices of youth, perceived as 'problem' voices.

    A wide range of residents will have the sense that their interests and concerns are taken seriously and represented on the estates and among organisations working in their midst.

    Aim 2

    Devise implementable intervention strategies with residents to enhance social cohesion & prevention.


    » Recruit and train student volunteers on work placement with Act for Chancge in service delivery that encourages integrated pathways of care.

    At least 15 volunteers will have been recruited, trained and will be implementing the intervention strategies under Act for Change supervision and guidance.

    Aim 3

    To encourage volunteers to take leadership amongst peers combatting 'learned helplessness'.


    » Young people of these estates will attend group training sessions around conflict and to hone their skills resolving conflict & envisioning the future

    At least 24 young people will take up the opportunity to attend group training sessions around conflict. 8 will complete the training. At least 6 will start using their new skills.

  • Impact


    Long term changes for young people in particular:
    For student volunteers, they will be better equipped to understand the problems faced by, communicate with and to address the needs of future clients from local estates. Being taken seriously, they will take themselves seriously, and begin to work with people in positions of authority, relieving the tensions of life on these estates.
    We will demonstrate success through creative projects highlighting the work


    There is a risk of a high drop out rate of volunteers from the local university. We have dealt with this risk by inviting other local community groups and by developing a strong pathway from volunteering to a paid internship with Act for Change. There is a further risk that the residents will wish to design interventions which are not implementable due to cost. To mitigate this risk, we are involving all the service providers in the area to take part to ensure its implementability.


    We will report regularly to donors through our website and by monthly email briefings. Donors will be invited to a completion event in March to hear from the young people who will have recorded the project in creative ways, highlighting the work. This recording will be available via the website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,886

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,462 3-day training Holding a User and volunteer trainings
      £1,517 organising material Including equipment for recording, identifying T-shirts
      £1,920 Volunteer expenses (£10 p. day, 1 day a wk
      £4,864 Volunteer management £19 per hour max 2-day week, est. for 16 wks
      £2,348 Open Forum Running 2 such Forums + preparation
      £1,975 Evaluation 1-day/wk for 6month incl. time either side of project
      £1,800 Dissemination Moderated and supervised

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Flapjack Trust £2,500 Conditional
  • Background


    Middle Park and Woolwich Common housing estates in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Both estates have been identified by the Youth Offending Service in the Borough as harbouring extensive gang activity, truancy and under-achievement in schools.
    Middle Park is relatively young with 35% aged 20-44, 15% lone parents. It has the highest number of young people aged 12 to 18 years. Problems regarding youth crime were getting worse. Woolwich Common is home to the Woolwich Boys gang.


    Young people on the estates at-risk of recruitment by the local gangs are the primary beneficiaries of our work. Their families and communities, the local police, community centres and local businesses will all benefit, so too will University student volunteers. In addition, although not ultimate beneficiaries, , social services and other voluntary sector workers who will join us in our project and who help implement the project will have their work made easier and so benefit in such a way.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For the past 4 years we have service level agreement with the Royal Borough of Greenwich working with young people falling under the Youth Offending Services remit, particularly under Intensive Supervision and Surveillance. In that time, we have established links in the local area, and an understanding of what is missing in current interventions on the ground. We have also established a collaboration with University of East London providing us access to volunteer students and research capacity.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lea Misan

    Lea is the executive director of Act for Change. It is her role to establish the collaborations and partnerships and to find the required resources.

    Tim Myers

    Greenwich Meantime is Tim's brainchild. He is our Project Development Officer. Tim has works with young people for over 30 years all over the world.

    Darren Johnson

    Darren is a Trustee of Act for Change. He has a breadth of experience in local government & the Youth Justice System. He brings his local connections.

    Wayne Reid

    Wayne was a student volunteer on placement with us from University of East London. He stayed on & continues to work with us as a part-time counsellor.