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The young people TwentyTwenty work with often come from the most challenging backgrounds, present multiple personal issues, are socially excluded, educationally under performing and without the aspiration and disposition to hold down a decent job. Yet.

TwentyTwenty want to see these lives changed, the cycles of deprivation broken, the hopes and fortunes of the young people truly restored, their inner skills and talents truly developed, sustainable employment achieved and bright futures built.

They’ve always placed equal emphasis on both the ethos and evidence that underlies their work, and sought to create an organisational culture where being caring and competent are equally important. They’re committed to being absolutely clear on what to do, how to do it, and why it’s effective. Their work is built on the foundation of a robust and constantly developing theory of change which is based on their own rich experience and the best youth development research. Here’s how it looks:

 All young people undergo key transitions:

Changes in themselves(E.g. puberty, mental/emotional development, societal expectations)

Changes in relationships(E.g. family, peers, institutions)

Changes in responsibility (E.g. education to employment, creating a family, living independently)

Changes in responsibility(E.g. education to employment, creating a family, living independently)

Not all young people undergo these transitions in the same way, at the same speed, or with the same outcomes. But this is not just about innate ability. Young people can be radically affected by the range of interweaving relationships they have, especially family, friends, community, and schools. These relationships also affect each other profoundly. The likelihood of successful development and maturity can only be analysed by taking social environment into account.

 Some key things flow from this insight:

All young people, even those facing multiple disadvantages, have the potential to succeed in life

Healthy beneficial relationships/communities are fundamental to this

When empowered by such relationships, young people can be positive change agents in the social world they inhabit, rather than just be passively shaped by it

Those facing multiple disadvantages can become resilient in spite of difficult circumstances and start to thrive with the right help from the right people

Even the most challenging young people should be treated as resources to be developed not problems to be solved. The most effective interventions are strengths based – focused on developing inherent strengths and skills, and helping to build aspirations, rather than just trying to ‘cure’ negative behaviour.

This is the basis of their Positive Youth Development theory. Evaluations of educational models based on these principles are overwhelmingly positive, and stress the three fundamental features required for programmes to achieve optimal youth development are: Positive People, Positive Places and Positive Opportunities

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Help to support young people through TwentyTwenty by entering the Prima Solutions Challenge on 29 September 2018. Enter here