Start: SFSC, children and young people

London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 2002- ongoing

Contact Leandra Box

What is Start?

Start is a training programme for children and young people aged between 10-16.  Based on the success of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parenting programme, training to deliver the Start programme requires participation in a three day training course.

How does Start work?

The Start programme, developed by Jabeer Butt and Leandra Box, mirrors SFSC by promoting the protective factors which ensure positive outcomes for children.  The programme encourages participants to develop:

  • their self-esteem, social competence and active citizenship skills
  • supportive relationships, by exploring relationships with their peers, families and communities
  • a positive sense of their ethnicity and of themselves, by exploring their identity
  • appropriate strategies for coping with stress and conflict
  • strategies to identify and deal with risky situations and behaviour.

Start uses a range of methods, including:

  • exercises to understand and develop positive self-image, and explore participants’ ethnic and cultural roots
  • providing information on healthy lifestyles and healthy relationships
  • role play, videos and other exercises to explore strategies for dealing with stress and conflict
  • identifying community resources and how to access them.

The 12 week programme is structured around a 2 hour ‘classroom’ session followed by an hour-long activity to allow participants to put their learning into practice.  These skills-based activities can vary widely, and past participants have learnt or coached others in team sports; developed photography skills; and produced a CD.

Start has run successfully in Manchester and London, both alongside SFSC or as a standalone programme. Training to deliver the Start programme takes three days.

For more information, see the Start information leaflet [250kb PDF] or see the events pages for Start training dates.