To whom it may concern,

 

I have worked with James Bond and his Carving Community enterprise for the past two years in my capacity as a youth offending team worker. During that time I have been responsible specifically for being part of a multi-agency approach to tackling anti social behaviour in the city of Exeter. Part of our approach has been to use James to work with groups of young people under the age of eighteen who have proved hard to reach.

 
I have found that young people of all ages and both genders have responded positively to his work and have found themselves doing things they would not have imagined possible a few weeks before. James brings an unthreatening and friendly attitude to his dealings with young people but allies this to clear boundaries and a firm set of rules that they readily accept. He is able to offer them exciting and unusual activities in a safe environment that push their perceptions of what they can achieve.Many of the young people have wanted to return for a second go when they find out that he is running a course.

 

 I have found James' work to be invaluable in engaging young people and their families and shows them activities they could be pursuing instead of anti social behaviour. I am quite sure that the work James has done has played a big part in the success we have enjoyed in tackling and reducing anti social behaviour in the city and has certainly diverted individuals away from further involvement.

 

I am very happy to recommend his work to anybody working in this field.

 

David Andrews (Exeter Youth Offending Team)

To whom it may concern,

 

This is to confirm that the Exeter Community Safety Partnership has been working with James Bond and Carving in the Community (CIC) for about a year.

 

The Partnership has an Escalation Process for dealing with cases of anti-social behaviour, which usually means dealing with the perpetrator.  Many of these “offenders” are young people, from a range of ages, who need to have some supportive activity alongside the enforcement measures which police and other agencies have available.

 

In order to be referred to the Escalation Process, the behaviour of the young person has to have been causing concern for some time – ie it is not just one example of bad behaviour.  Often the young person will be excluded from mainstream schooling, and it is most likely that they will have been referred by the local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), though they have not yet reached the point of criminality.

 

This process for these young people results in a referral to Challenge and Support, an initiative funded through government money, but sadly finishing in March 2011.  The Challenge and Support team will assess needs, and make appropriate referrals to diversionary activity.

Work with CIC began a year ago, and now several groups have been through the programme.  The young people saw themselves as the “naughty group” and tried to behave accordingly.  Through patience, persistence and perseverance, CIC have engaged with these young people and their families, helping to give them a new perspective, a revised attitude, a growing sense of self worth and self-esteem.

 

Funding for Challenge and Support is ending, and our challenge is to find ways of maintaining work which has been so beneficial to the client group.  As indicated, the young people referred to CIC were well known to police and other agencies because of their anti-social behaviour.  Since their engagement with the project, they have not been noticed by the officers or agencies.

 

Michael Miller (Exeter Community Safety Partnership Co-ordinator)

I really enjoyed the workshop and even though I am an adult and not really there to take part, it has opened my eyes to the transformation that can take place, especially when you pull something out of the fire and work on it and how this can be linked to behaviour and working together. I can see how powerful this type of working can be for young people.

 

Calvin Thain (Behaviour Manager, St James School, Exeter)

The first thing that surprised me about this project was the trust that had been established between the young people and the facilitators. From this groundwork of mutual trust it was possible to build therapeutic relationships and conversations with the young person, exploring and expanding on their own emotional intelligence.


I found in the past that the environments that these young people are usually referred to with the above issues can take along time to build relationships and engage with a young person. Young people in this context of work can move quickly from negative situations to positive outcomes, forming quick and empowering relationships, experiencing the bigger picture of negative to positive experiences and emotional tags/life scripts.


That enabled responsive sharing, which gave us insights into what was holding the young person back from their desired goals and their life potential as worthwhile members of their community.


What I would like to engage more with is the project's ability to look at destructive patterns of behaviours andintegration back into community.

 

Mark Scott (former C.A.M.S specialist working in the Bristol area as a Youth Mental Health and Behaviourist Specialist)

The meeting hut project that the Millside pupils undertook with James and Brian was outstanding and provided them with so many opportunities and learning experiences. Pupils were focused and totally engaged for the whole week; even those pupils who can often present as totally disengaged were motivated throughout.

 

The team work and positive social interactions were amazing - pupils working together, helping and supporting each other as well as encouraging each other. The opportunity truly brought the school together as a community.

 

Sue Erwin (head teacher, Millside Special Educational Needs School, Slough)

Exeter Parks Watch is an award winning partnership, formed and chaired by Exeter Neighbourhood Watch and working with Exeter City Council, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Youth organisations and local resident representatives for the city parks. The aim of Exeter Parks Watch is to work with young people and local residents to cut crime and anti social behaviour and encourage and empower ownership of their local park. James Bond’s remit of working directly with young people totally fitted with our objectives and provided us with two amazing sculpted bench projects where a great number of young people from the local areas had huge enjoyment in the participation of their creations.

 

Sue Lawrence (Exeter Parks Watch)

James, Brian and Mark worked positively and effectively with the young men and Youth Leaders. Really good rapport built with everyone.

 

Brian Garvey (The Café Unemployment Centre, Belfast)

He has learnt to work as part of a team.


I’ve already seen a change in his attitude when asked to do something. Not aggressive like he used to be.

 

Thank you for giving my son this opportunity to work with Carving Community. He has really enjoyed it and is very proud of his sculpture. Thanks again.

 

James Bond came around to see us and explained in full detail about the project and what my son would benefit by going on the project. From my point of view the project has helped him to work with others in a group.

 

He has really enjoyed it and is proud of his sculpture.

 

Comments from parent/guardian evaluation forms, Exeter