The prison population has almost doubled since 1993 and, in England and Wales, over 10,000 of these prisoners are young people. Most are trapped in an endless cycle of offending. According to the coalition Governmentʼs recent “Rehabilitation Revolution” Green Paper: 75% of young people released from prison reoffend within one year. Young ex-offenders must not only convince others to give them a second chance, but must also overcome their own internal struggles and insecurities, such as addiction, abuse and learning difficulties. Gangs typically prey on these vulnerable young people with low self-worth and no real job prospects.
Itʼs not glamorous or popular, but youth offending is a massive problem in the UK. Thatʼs why Youth for Christ’s Reflex program in Britain is disarming the gangs by educating 14 to 21 year olds in prisons and deprived neighbourhoods through accredited music, theatre and life skills courses, building their confidence and empowering them to raise their aspirations and break the cycle of offending.
Inspired by the legend of the 300 Spartans, Youth for Christ has created a 300 Party DVD to find 300 champions whoʼll stand in the gap and ʻdefend the vulnerable against all the oddsʼ. The 300 DVD has 5 short clips which highlight the plight of disadvantaged young people and what makes them susceptible to crime. It features young offenders telling their stories firsthand and draws attention to the struggles and barriers they must overcome. Each DVD case contains an easy step-by-step guide to running a 300 party, with games, a quiz and thought-provoking discussion starters. 300 parties can be hosted by anyone, and the evenings put party-goers in the young offendersʼ shoes.
Kerri was one of the first to get her hands on the 300 DVD and host a party:
“I want to thank you for a fun-filled weekend with giggles, drinks, junk food and chit chat about Reflex. At times it was very heated, and very loud, but I enjoyed every minute of it!“
The free 300 DVD contains everything a host could possibly need to hold a 300 evening in their home. Every 300 party looks different. It could be Cheese and Wine, Pizza and Beer, Popcorn and Coke, or a BBQ, just as long as it has ʻgood food, good fun and good friends…for a good causeʼ.
Geoff Baxter, the founder and director of Youth for Christ’s Reflex ministry, explains the vision behind 300 nights…
“The legend of the 300 Spartans is an inspiring story. We launched the 300 campaign to find 300 extraordinary people whoʼll stand in the gap and give young people a fighting chance to start over. By giving, volunteering, lobbying, or all three, just about anyone can help transform the life of a young person from their own sofa.”
The 300 DVD Videos
Who are Reflex?
Reflex works to break the cycle of offending and reoffending by young people aged 14 to 21 who are disengaged from education, disadvantaged or serving a criminal sentence across the UK.
The Reflex ministry delivers outreach, non-formal education and mentoring that provides disadvantaged young people with life skills, confidence and opportunities to realise their potential and make a fresh start away from crime. Their creative programmes use proven learning techniques to tackle the root causes of offending behaviour, raise self-esteem and achievement levels, provide positive role models, and offer credible alternatives to criminal behaviour. Reflex are specialists in empowering young people to reflect on their story and to positively express how they will move forward with their lives, diverting youth away from crime, gangs and anti-social behaviour and helping them settle back into society.
- every young person has potential
- every young person has the power to change
- every young person can make a difference
“If you want a complex problem clearly explained by someone who’s actively involved in solving it, Darren from Reflex is your man.” – Jan Rogers, BBC Producer
To learn more about Reflex, visit www.reflex.org/300 or contact Darren Richards using the form below.