7Roadlight is a Community Interest Company set up to provide early intervention aimed at reducing youth offending.

The Company’s Project Manager, Nosheen describes her experience with the nuts and bolts of setting up the company and how Community Impact Bucks helped her with the task.

How it all started

Nosheen explains that 7Roadlight is a new venture set up to help young people at risk of offending and re-offending. It will build on the work already being done by the founder, Dwayne Jack (pictured here), who developed the ‘Hit the Road Jack‘ programme which is already making a real difference when delivered in prisons.

Dwayne, himself an ex-offender, has a real understanding about how to communicate with young people and help them gain the life skills which can keep them away from crime. Dwayne and the rest of the team identified the need to intervene at an earlier point and decided to launch a Community Interest Company to do just that.

The need for early intervention is underlined by the fact that the school exclusion rate has gone up consistently since 2013 by 76% – an alarming figure. The Department of Education has published figures which show direct correlation between the number of school exclusions and the level of knife crime.

Where to turn?

Nosheen was given the task of setting up the Company. Her background is in education as a headteacher in a pupil referral setting and had never set up an organisation before and did not know where to start. She looked around online and found the  CIB website and booked an advice session to find out what CIB had to offer.

How did CIB help?

Nosheen was amazed at how much support and information she received at just that first meeting – everything discussed at the meeting was followed up with detailed emails and links. This included sources of possible funding and legal help regarding how to set up a Community Interest Company.

In the weeks and months after that initial meeting Nosheen says the further support and information offered by CIB has been invaluable. She and one of the incoming company directors have had further one-to-one advice sessions where they were put in touch with appropriate help to complete all the registration forms to go to Companies House and also received suggestions for other organisations and groups they could join.

At each meeting Nosheen describes Helen, the CIB adviser, as being very enthusiastic, welcoming, approachable and knowledgeable

Nosheen has also attended the “Getting Fit for Funding” training course run by CIB.

 What’s the current position?

The company was officially set up on 7 May 2019. It has its Board of Directors, company business plan and company bank account in place. The aim is to be fully up and running by the end of November 2019.

It has already delivered a mini-pilot with the police in the community to support four young people (this ended up supporting seven individuals as they brought in other family members). After the pilot there was huge reduction in the offending rates in the pilot group.

The company’s work to prevent offending and re-offending will start properly in High Wycombe and work outwards from there.

One significant aim is to set up a peer mentoring programme which will offer the young people employment with 7Roadlight. This will allow the company to expand its reach as well as demonstrating its support and belief in those young people.

Continuing help

Nosheen thinks 7Roadlight will still need help going forward, on issues such as volunteer recruitment and impact measurement. She’s confident that she can go to CIB for that help. She finds the regular CIB newsletters very helpful.

Nosheen sums up how CIB helped:

“After that first meeting I just thought – you know what, I can do this now.”

For more information on the work of 7Roadlight or if you would be interested in volunteering please contact nosheen-roadlight@outlook.com

Published on September 23, 2019

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society