The Committee received a presentation from the Operational Manager, The Gr@nd on the services the Gr@nd operates within the Borough (please see supplementary).
Following the conclusion of the presentation, the Operational Manager, The Gr@nd fielded questions and comments from the Committee, explaining that:
· Children of all ages, sexes, genders, disabilities and background were welcome to join any of the Gr@nd activities that were offered. There are no barriers in place to stop anyone from joining any of the safe space activities either. The Gr@nd encouraged active participation from every group of people and works with groups that aren’t represented to determine what they require to make the sessions viable to them
· Children that are at risk are made to feel comfortable with the Gr@nd so that they can talk to a member of staff if they feel they are at serious risk of anything; they would be able to go to the Gr@nd and seek help for whatever is troubling them. At the Safe Space disco, security is always hired for the night so that the children attending feel safe around each other and can express themselves without fear of being attacked
· The Gr@nd monitors young children for as long as possible in order to sustain the heathy relationship that is created with them; a system called eStart is used which records the progress made in sessions with young people. It records things such as what was spoken about and if there were any positive/negative outcomes. There is also an accredited process which looks at giving young people accredited qualifications such as a Food Hygiene Certificate which can be used to help them find employment in the future. The Gr@nd also provides young people with help completing their CV’s and searching for their future careers as many young people don’t know what they wish to do. The funding contract with KCC finishes in 2021
· RBLI is an organisation that supports people in getting back to work
· The lifestyles choice group is designed for motivated adults who desire to change but do not know how to go about it; the group is about helping people make small changes to their life in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle choices aren’t preached at young people and are primarily only for those who seek out additional help to change their lifestyle
· The Langa Seva group session is a weekly event organised by the Sikh Temple; every Tuesday they make food in the Langa (the kitchen in the Temple) and bring it to the Gr@nd to distribute to people in need
· No alcohol is allowed at the safe space disco events as it covers the ages 14-19; everyone attending the event should feel safe so any people displaying inappropriate behaviour would be spoken to or asked to leave
· With regard to the questions posed in the presentation such as ‘What’s life like for a 19 year old’; all of the questions were created by young people who felt that those were the topics that other young people should be asked about
Concern was raised by a Member about the air quality in Gravesham as Gravesham didn’t receive a positive response from the EDC when a recommendation was sent to them by the Committee last year. The Operational Manager, The Gr@nd was asked about the Gr@nds role in air quality and what young people could do to help:
· The Gr@nd already works with the communities in Northfleet and the Youth Club there in partnership with EDC to make them all aware of what is happening around the development and make sure everyone is engaged as one community
· A healthy school programme is also being run for EDC through the Gr@nd; they have specific schools they wanted to target: Cherry Orchard which is a new primary school, Lawn Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
· The clean air aspirations of the Council may be able to be worked into the Healthy School Programme in the future
· The EDC has also been working with the Gr@nd to promote ‘Edible Ebbsfleet’, mental health awareness and a commitment to make the EDC a healthy workplace
The Committee thanked Liz Read for an information presentation and asked that thanks been given to the Gr@nd for all the work that they do within Gravesham.