Back in December last year, RFF Manchester took two groups from the Clifton PRU in Salford to Challenge 4 Change. Challenge 4 change (C4C) is a unique indoor urban activity centre who’s mission is to provide learning and development in an innovative way that engages the learner, holds their interest and interests them whilst giving them a great and memorable experience. C4C want to enable learners to overcome any barriers which are holding them back so that they can realise their true potential in life.

The young people from Clifton PRU were there to take part in the ‘teammates not inmates’ programme. The programme is designed to help young people make the ‘right’ choices so they do not end up in situations where they have to serve custodial sentences. It was the idea of C4C project manager Dean Lynch, who was introduced to the centre as part of a work release programme while he was in prison. After release he stayed with the centre and uses his expert knowledge to help other people make informed decisions.

The session was broken up into three elements. The first was spent in a room full of tyres and on the ground apparatus of the main centre. Here, the young people played a series of games and tasks that all surrounded the themes of team work and communication. They were all incredibly physical and required the students to work very closely together as a team, think critically and trust each other.

The second aspect of the programme involved a presentation given by Dean, in which he spoke about his own personal experiences within the criminal justice system and the harsh realities. He was able to offer guidance and support around gangs, drugs and organised crime. The final element of the programme involved the young people going up 35ft in the air to the high wires that circulate the centre in order to take the ‘leap of faith’. This involves jumping off a platform to grab a hanging trapeze bar! This makes the jumpers explore ideas of courage a bravery, something that they can take forward into difficult situations.

One of the students from Clifton PRU showed such enthusiasm and potential that Challenge 4 Change offered him a work placement that he has accepted!! This is an absolutely great result from the day and we wish him the best of luck!

RFF Manchester would like to thank our partners Clifton PRU and Challenge for change. We would also like to thank our funders the Big Lottery for enabling this to happen.