First Class Foundation has taken 274 sq ft of serviced office accommodation at the former Carillion House building in Salop Street, Wolverhampton.
The charity, which delivers services on behalf of West Midlands Combined Authority, Sandwell Youth Offending Service and the Youth Justice Board, has been home based since its inception in 2019.
Chief executive, Sabrina Dennis, said that the move will provide enhanced facilities for the charity’s seven employees and facilitate its future growth.
She said: “We’re thrilled to have moved into a new home in the heart of Wolverhampton. It means that we have a shared space for meeting and collaboration, rather than exclusively operating remotely, which will be even more important as we bring new people into our team.
“Although we have proved that virtual working can be successful, our practitioners are increasingly undertaking sensitive work involving issues of youth violence and mental health. The new office space provides sound proof booths and private meeting space to guarantee client confidentiality.”
First Class Foundation is best known for its delivery of Kitchen Table Talks, a six-month self-funded community pilot programme for the parents of young people aged 13 to 25-years-old in Sandwell. The project has since expanded to become a successful and established vehicle for tackling issues including youth violence, knife crime and county lines.
Last year the charity was awarded a new regional ‘pathfinder’ project, focused on reducing serious youth violence in the West Midlands by engaging with the parents of young people involved in the youth justice system. The pathfinder is being delivered collaboratively between seven youth offending teams in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton in conjunction with their local violence reduction unit.
“We’re very proud that what started off as an idea to support parents in Sandwell, is now a regional service giving people a strategic voice about youth offending services in their area,” said Sabrina.
“It will encourage parents to know that they are not alone and that with access to support, education and mentoring from relatable role models, they can overcome the many challenges that arise during a parenting journey.”
First Class Foundation also delivers the Dear Youngers project, a mental health and resilience programme for young African Caribbean males. It was profiled in the National Lottery Community Fund’s Voices from the Pandemic publication and featured on ITV News during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
As part of its delivery of the project, First Class Foundation was consulted by Dr Justin Varney, head of public health at Birmingham City Council, regarding the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and ethnic minority communities.