We work with girls and young women aged between 8 - 18, in the Birmingham area, who are at risk of being exploited, who frequently go missing, who have poor school attendance and have peer groups who are involved in criminal behaviour. On this page, you will find our referral form and contact details for our project. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team if you would like to make a referral.
Spurgeons' BeLeave Project was a finalist in the 2020 Children & Young People Now Awards in the Early Intervention category.
What is BeLeave?
BeLeave is a Birmingham-based service set up to support girls and young women at risk of gang-related crime, working with both them and their families.
The girls and young women may be at risk of gang involvement themselves or be impacted by the involvement of someone close to them. By helping these girls and young women to explore their relationships, their resilience and aspirations, BeLeave empowers them to spur themselves on towards a brighter future.
Listen to Spurgeons' Family Support Worker Charlotte from BeLeave talking about the programme.
“...the family relationships of the girls and young women (GYW) who attended the programme, and their parents, have positively been benefited by BeLeave. Specifically, the intervention seems to have been the most useful to enhance family bonding and communication, which in turn has also decreased the risk levels for child criminal exploitation for the GYW.” - Evaluation of BeLeave, Feb 2020, Lugli & Armstrong-Hallam, Institute for Public Safety, Crime & Justice, University of Northampton.
Supporting girls and young women to avoid harm
The Beleave project specifically supports girls and young women (G&YW), aged 8-18 and their families to avoid Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) and gang-related harm across Birmingham.
The project aims to offer a flexible (with review) package of support, containing four strands of support (one-to-one support, family/carer sessions and diversionary and theme-based group activities) that work with girls and young women and their families.
It is a needs-led, evidence-based and whole family approach (WFA) project that is underpinned by a value base grounded in Spurgeons value bases of compassion, inclusivity and hope. It is also underpinned by a moral perspective based on Kohlberg’s stages of moral development (1971).
BeLeave have completed three years on a learning journey within an international programme called I Define Me funded by Comic Relief between 2017-2020. This programme sought to raise awareness of the underrepresentation and marginalised issues surrounding girls and young women who were affected by gang-related harm and CCE. Made up of nine projects, this initiative holds four projects in the UK, others in Bogota and Cape Town.
How do we help?
Direct one-to-one support: targeted sessions between the girl and family support worker with the aim of developing self-esteem, encouraging assertiveness and aspiration, and providing a space to be acknowledged and listened to. Sessions will also focus on the risks and consequences of CCE and gang-related harm.
Family Sessions: creates a space for open discussion aimed at raising families’ awareness of CCE and gang-related harm, and identify potential warning signs. Supporting positive communication and facilitating the reparation of family breakdown.
Theme based sessions; our young women and their families are actively central to the theme-based sessions as they are able to explore and give a voice to the issues affecting them and explore their lived experiences. These groups offer an avenue for co-production with the young women and their families by embedding learning from their experiences and collaborating to bring about local and wider change for the issues that impact them.
Positive diversionary activities: running and facilitating activities as graffiti workshops, rock climbing, archery, arts and crafts, beauty days etc. to build new social experiences.
79% of young women reported an increase in their ability to take action to keep themselves safe.
69% of families report a reduction in girls' risky behaviour.
56% of our young women reported that there was an increase in their resilience.
53% of families reported that communication had increased.
59% of young women reported an increase in their self-esteem.
Referrals can be made for girls and young women who:
- are aged between 8 - 18 years old who are suspected of being at risk of exploitation
- that frequently go missing
- have poor school attendance
- have peer groups who are involved in criminal behaviour
- living in the Birmingham area.
How to make a referral to the BeLeave project
You can complete our BeLeave referral form which can be downloaded below or get in touch with a member of the team who would be happy to assist with any queries.
BeLeave Referral Form
If you would like to make a referral for support from BeLeave, please download our referral form below and return this to the team.
Find out more about how you can help protect young women and their families
Signs of harm
View guidance to support young people, parents, carers and professionals
Support services and useful links for families affected by Child Criminal Exploitation
News and Blogs
Read the latest news and blogs from the Spurgeons BeLeave project
Hope for Every Child
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