MTVH community partnership inspiring and motivating young people in Lambeth

08 October 2020

Summary: Building strong and effective community partnerships is crucial in making positive changes for our residents and communities. Read more about our partnership with Code 7, a learning and development service designed to support and inspire young people in Lambeth through their passion for music and creativity.

At MTVH, we’re committed not only to providing homes, but to supporting our residents to live well. Listening and engaging with residents demonstrates our commitment to taking a community-led approach, which allows us to identify and understand people’s needs and provide the right support and resources.

One of the key ways in which we deliver this support is through community partnerships, as Sarah Willis, our Head of Strategic Partnerships, explains:

“Working with businesses, people and other organisations in a locality where we have homes means we can share resources, run joint projects, align our work where we have common goals and build sustainable relationships.”

Partnership with Code 7
One of the key themes to emerge from our engagement with residents in Lambeth is the need to address the lack of positive social interaction available for young people. With that in mind, we have partnered with Code 7, an organisation committed to working with young people from excluded communities, through music and performance pathways such as music production, sound engineering and other creative exercises.

MTVH’s partnership with Code 7 initially started off as a two-week summer trial at the Moorlands community centre in Lambeth, to examine if the programme was a good fit for young residents. There was immediate interest with a total of 123 young people attending workshops in the first eight days of the trial. 60% of the participants were young MTVH residents from the Moorlands estate and 40% were from elsewhere in Lambeth, the majority being young men who were previously more challenging to engage.

Covid-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of children and young people across the UK. A report by Beatfreeks, a youth insight and engagement agency, found that young people are struggling to find a place where their voices, feelings and experiences fit into building this ‘new normal’ and that 65% of young people said they were worried about their mental health in light of COVID-19.

With that in mind, Code 7 has included one-to-one and group mentoring sessions in workshops, providing a positive environment where young people feel safe and encouraged. The majority of Code 7 mentors are young people from the local community, which enables them to understand and guide participants in a relatable manner Code 7 case worker Jodie explains;

“The group talks were received well by the young people as they listened to the mentors speak about the effects of living safely and then asked them numerous questions. We found that young people acted as if they were starved of engagement and were excited to be heard. The feedback from parents and residents included same observation, that the young people need this type of support and that they are thrilled to be engaged.”

A lot of the young people involved have been given the opportunity to showcase their talent with peers in the workshops, including an 18-year-old Moorlands resident who has excelled in the sound engineering workshop and as a result has been invited to record on a mixtape  with other young people from five different boroughs across London. Another young resident, Mayan Khan, 17, has expressed his appreciation for the programme as it has given him the opportunity explore his love for music. On his experience with the programme Mayan explains;

“It’s been difficult finding fun activities due to Covid 19, so I was happy to hear about the summer music programme Code 7 were running at Moorlands, and enrolled immediately. I have always loved music and really enjoyed the DJing workshop, I was able to play and mix music and learn from experienced DJs. I thought the one-to-one and group mentoring sessions were really helpful as I could speak to people like me. I was also able to meet other young people who love music and made some good friends. I hope the programme is long-term as it will help me with my future goal of working in the music field when I finish college.”

At MTVH, we’re pleased to see the positive impact of our partnership with Code 7, with plans now to continue the programme at Moorlands, and expand it in Lambeth to the Clapham Park estate later this year.