"From our own life experiences, we fundamentally understand the impact a difficult upbringing can have on later life choices as an adolescent"
VIBE Youth CIC was set up by Karen Carswell & Jake Henry to provide a meaningful and relevant source of support and personal development for young people; particularly those considered as ‘challenging’ or ‘hard to reach’.
From our own life experiences, we fundamentally understand the impact a difficult upbringing can have on later life choices as an adolescent. However, our own personal journeys have shown how a life can be transformed through developing an understanding of self and making a conscious commitment to value oneself and pursue more positive and self-affirming choices.
Drawing upon our own experiences, we have forged careers in youth work. However, we recognised that the range of services and support available to young people through conventional youth services were not particularly effective in addressing the needs of young people exhibiting challenging behaviours. Young people deemed to be ‘challenging’ are often excluded from conventional youth services and whilst understandable, such decisions at best reinforce negative patterns of behaviour, or at worst can exacerbate it.
We set out to use our innate understanding of what it feels like to be labelled and to reach out to these young people. We wanted to share our journey and experiences with young people to encourage them to support one another and help them open up about difficult events they may have experienced. The aim was to guide young people in understanding the reasons behind their challenging behaviour, empower them to take back control and enable more positive life choices. We found our employed roles couldn’t support the approaches we knew were required, so we realised that we would need to establish our own organisation, giving rise to VIBE Youth.