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What We Do

Children, Young People & Families

"There are different ways that you need to engage with children, young people and families and it won’t always be the pre-prescribed method as governed by the regulatory bodies, the local authorities."

Liz Pemberton

Early Years Specialist

Our Ambition

At the centre of Black Thrive Lambeth, we amplify and embed the voices of our community to drive meaningful change, facilitate partnerships with key system players, to redress the imbalance of power and inequality felt by Black Lambeth communities, so that Black people thriving is the norm.

However, we know that this is not a reality for many Black young people and their families in Lambeth. Research has shown that without intervention or support mental health conditions can have a lasting negative impact on a child’s quality of life. Children may end up having poor academic attainment, be excluded, grow up to have poor physical and mental health and be unemployed.

Our Children, Young People, and Families team work to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Black children, young people, and families in Lambeth. We do this by working collaboratively and in partnerships with organisations, institutions, individuals and of course families. We empower and amplify communities to influence the systems around them for the better. So that:

  • Services and systems are responsive to the needs of the community, and work for and with the community.
  • Data collection is appropriate and sensitive, is culturally informed and reflects outcomes and recommendations that are supported by the community.
  • There is trust between the community and frontline services - schools, local authorities, mental health trusts and the police.
  • Black communities have a good understanding of the systems that affect the lives of their children and are empowered to make choices and influence what happens.
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What We Are Doing

Our projects prioritise the exploration and improvement of the social and emotional wellbeing of Black young people and families in Lambeth. From documenting and collecting evidence of how Black children and their families navigate and access mental health support to researching the effects of stop and search on young Black people in Lambeth, to adapting work from the US looking at the impact of racism on young Black men.

This project is funded by BBC Children in Need and we work with children aged 8-13.

The goal of the project is to collect evidence on how Black children, and their families experience their mental health and access support available to them. We also hope to further develop and improve the mental health and wellbeing of the young people taking part. We are doing this by teaching, empowering, and inspiring the children to shape their own worlds. The project’s participants are recruited and trained as peer researchers, with their insights being used to inform the allocation of a participatory budget. Children will also be engaged in creative and culturally appropriate group therapeutic interventions, trialling new ways of supporting their mental health and wellbeing.

This is a collaboration in research between Black Thrive Lambeth, King’s College London, and the Centre for Society and Mental Health looking at the impact of stop and search on Black young people’s mental health. Find out more about the project here.

The BAM programme is delivered in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation and Colourful Minds. It is an importation from the USA and focuses on providing support to adolescent Black boys in order to develop and promote positive decision making. Black Thrive Lambeth supports the cultural adaptation of the content, shaping it for the wider UK context and informing the development of its evaluation alongside Dartington Service Design Lab.

Publications related to CYPF