Broadening Horizons – Meet Harley, Our Engagement Worker


Our Youth Justice Service have been working on a project called ‘Broadening Horizons’. The project aims to show young people involved in offending, that there is more to life than crime, by showing them new places and teaching them life skills. In this article we will showcase the amazing work of our Engagement Worker, Harley. 

To protect their identities, we have had to label the clients – Client A and Client B

Harley works in the Youth Justice Service at Positive Steps and works with clients who have more complex needs. Harley has spent the last five years working with Client A, who had become involved in crime at the age of 12, spending time in custody on remand. When Harley started working with Client A, they weren’t engaging with any professionals, often refusing to see her. However, she understood how important building trust and providing consistency was. In the first instance, she would return to the client every week till they started to open up and look forward to her visits.

In order to ‘Broaden her clients Horizons’ Harley took the client on trips to local parks and nature reserves. The Engagement Worker said, “It is also important that young people have life skills so that they become more independent”. Harley taught the client how to budget and do their weekly food shop, she also taught them how to cook some healthy and tasty meals. By learning these basic life skills, Client A became more independent, and their confidence grew.

Our engagement workers focus on building positive experiences with clients and helping them in any way possible. Harley went above and beyond with Client A and became a support system for them, even helping to encourage positive relationships between the client and their mum and other professionals involved. Harley has built a strong bond with Client A, who no longer works with the service, but still messages her with updates on how their life is going – even messaging her on her birthday!

Harley had also been working with Client B.  Client B struggled with their mental health and did not have the basic life skills needed to be independent. Harley once again went above and beyond and taught them how to cook, clean and even helped them get a flat of their own. The work that Harley did with Client B allowed them to see that there was more to life than crime and showed them all the amazing places and things that the world has to offer. Therefore, broadening their horizons!

The work Harley has done has had a positive impact on both Client A and B’s lives. She built strong relationships and became someone who the clients could trust and rely on for support. Client A has said “Harley was the first person who cared” and Client B said that “This was the first person to believe in me”.

The Broadening Horizons Project gives young people involved in crime the chance to see what other opportunities are available for them. It helps them build confidence and learn new skills. This project wouldn’t be possible without our incredible engagement workers, like Harley, who do everything possible for their clients to turn their lives around 💜

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