The Children & Young People Now Awards 2013

The Children and Young People Now Awards 2013 – Winner

Children & Young People now awards 2013

The Early Intervention Award

Compass Aspire, Compass

On the surface, the young people helped by this scheme may appear to be doing well. Yet without the timely support it offers, they risk falling victim to problems that could have a devastating impact on their whole lives. The Coventry-based Aspire initiative, run by national substance misuse charity Compass, provides a unique screening service to identify those at risk of substance misuse, poor sexual health, unhealthy relationships and teenage pregnancy. Young people who display “risk-taking attitudes” are offered support to challenge potentially harmful thoughts and behaviour, and help them gain valuable life skills. Sessions are creative and may involve art, music and poetry to capture young participants’ imaginations. Families are involved every step of the way, and children and parents can opt out at any time. But to date, the service has obtained consent from 99 per cent of young people and achieved 94 per cent parental involvement. Funded by Coventry Council and Public Health England, the scheme screened 1,500 young people across eight secondary schools in the 10 months up to March this year. Of the 76 young people the project has worked with so far, 51 per cent were referred to social services or the police for issues relating to abuse, domestic violence, violent relationships, grooming and sexual exploitation – problems that would have escalated if Aspire had not intervened. Meanwhile, independent evaluation by Coventry University found statistically significant positive changes in areas such as confidence, aspirations, attitudes, sexual health, drug and alcohol use, and safety. One of our adult judges described the scheme simply as “a winner”. “This initiative has reached a hidden need – a very vulnerable group who nobody noticed because they were no trouble to anyone,” the judge continues. “The screening tool should be used in every school.”


For the initiative that has intervened early and most effectively with children or young people at risk from problems such as homelessness, crime, substance misuse, poor health or dropping out of education, and prevented the transmission of poor outcomes from one generation to the next.

Highly Commended:

● Holding Families, Early Break

Also shortlisted:

● Chance UK, Chance UK
● The Derbyshire Every Child a Talker
Programme, Derbyshire Education
Improvement Service
● Moving Parents and Children Together
(M-PACT), Action on Addiction

The Children & Young People Now Awards –
Coventry Compass –
Coventry University –