Merseyside businesses announce support of youth restorative justice programme

An L8 charity that runs a restorative justice programme for young people has announced a new partnership with two Merseyside businesses.

Housing association, Plus Dane Housing and general building contractors, Penny Lane Builders will both lend their support to Mandela8’s Roots & Wings programme in 2024, delivered in partnership with Taking Shape Association.

Roots & Wings supports young people who lack positive role models and are at risk of criminal exploitation, as well as those who are experiencing violent crime or live in fear of violent crime on a daily basis.

The programme has been running annually since 2020 and has seen 28 young people graduate from the scheme, earning a total of 72 AQA qualifications between them in the process. The project is supported by Mandela8 patron, LFC and England international, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Sonia Bassey MBE, Chair of Mandela8, said: “These young people live in areas of high deprivation with high levels of crime and are frequently disengaged from school and at risk of permanent exclusion from school. We are delighted to see our programme supported by businesses that are part of the infrastructure of our communities.

Working together to develop cohesive solutions is critical to the opportunities for our young people and sustainable communities. It is great to have the support of Plus Dane Group and Penny Lane Builders who both started out in Liverpool 8 and is a really positive way forward for us all”.

The programme includes restorative justice practices and aims to find enduring solutions to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime and violence and supports them to recognise consequences; understand cause and effect; reduce naivety; and increase their resilience and strength to ‘not get involved’.

Roots and Wings also supports cultural change around the acceptability of carrying weapons and succumbing to peer pressure.

Plus Dane Chief Executive, Ian Reed, said:“I am really pleased to be supporting the Mandela8 Roots and Wings programme. We started in L8, with 400 terraced homes in 1976 and we continue to invest in the area today. Supporting this inspirational programme, helping young people in the communities we serve, is a perfect match for us. Working together we want to help steer young people away from crime and create a vibrant, safe community for generations to come.” 

Penny Lane Builders, Chief Executive, Gerard McEvoy, said: “At PLB we started our business in 1996 in the L8 area.  Today we still work predominantly in the Liverpool area and we care about the success of our local communities.  Part of our investment in the success of the communities is that we support innovative programmes that have real impact.  We are proud to support young people in the Liverpool area via the Roots and Wings Young Leaders Programme and look forward to watching the young people progress over the 12 weeks.”

Kevin Stuart from Taking Shape Association said“Roots & Wings is not just about giving these kids good experience with quality intervention and love. We support community empowerment by changing mindsets and shaping futures without compromise, which they deserve.”

Stephen Nze, Mandela8 Ambassador said: “To see the young people who come on the Roots and Wings programme and having a understanding of the young people and why they have joined – it’s great to see how they engage with Kevin and the team, and the difference it has made to many of those young minds; how they think about themselves, their families, and wider society. It’s incredible to see. Thanks to all who support this programme and support the young people and their families who we engage. It does make a difference.”

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