Welcome to Reach 4 Social Justice (Reach4ward). We are a local, non-profit, community interest company, based in and working with residents of Hebden Bridge, and across the Upper valley from Eastwood to Luddendenfoot.
Our work is based on the principles of achieving social justice, to enable people to fully participate in all that is on offer, by providing opportunities for the redistribution of resources.
We are a group of 3 women who were born in and have lived in Hebden Bridge for over 35 years. We are knowledgeable and have expertise in youth & community work, social care, project and business management, anti-poverty strategy, welfare reform and law. We are passionate about challenging injustice and promoting social change for the greater good.
Why did the project arise?
The reasons for starting Reach4ward are many; anti-poverty work carried out by one of the directors and the need for services in our area not currently provided by anyone else are just two of these. While our area has a lot of wonderful features, these are often not accessible to everyone. Some of the reasons people are excluded from participating include physical and mental health issues, isolation, loneliness, poverty, age, substance misuse, just to name a few. Often these issues overlap.
Many people in our lovely community are struggling and this is all too often ignored.
Reducing isolation and loneliness
Our first event to find a solution to the issues we identified was The Great Get Together in 2018 on Calder Holmes Park, celebrating the vision of the late Jo Cox that we have more in common than that which divides us. Through this event, we brought people and communities together to celebrate what we have in common. Feedback from the 300 people who attended was that we should definitely run another the following year. The June 2019 GGT was where we also, for the first time, delivered a session with the incredible Human Library which aims to challenge negative stereotypes and discrimination.
We followed the first Great Get Together in 2018 by the incredible Community Xmas Day Get Together on 25 December 2018. We came together to eat and have fun with 130 people who would otherwise be alone on Xmas day. The whole day was run by committed volunteers and was an outstanding success. We are running a similar event in 2019.
The underpinning principle of all of our work is that we provide everybody with the opportunity to deliver it and we, as directors of the company, help to coordinate it and access funding. Delivery by participation so everyone can take ownership of it.
Work with young people
Using the same principles of reducing loneliness and isolation, we are also campaigning for youth work provision in Hebden Bridge. We see young people as our future, and in Hebden Bridge, an we want to support them by giving them the opportunity to prove their skills and ambitions. We have set up a young peoples consultation group and have a board of professional and young people steering what we do. Young people are often excluded from participating in activities other people take for granted, and we aim to remedy this by setting up a youth club for young people in the age ranges of 11-18.
Since April 2018 we have employed a Youth Worker for ten hours a week who is supporting the campaign and also supporting young people in our town on a detached basis.
The most important priority is to find accessible premises where you people can be safe and meet each other for leisure, creative and informal education activities and which will bestaffed by qualified youth workers. Young people can access volunteer activities here, through Reach4ward.
Our aim is to home-grow our youth workers and in January 2020 we will be training our young people t become volunteers working under the supervision of Mary Brooks our youth worker.
We have a separate page where young people can access information regarding skateboard training that will keep them safer in our park.
In addition, we have delivered welfare rights sessions to groups of people to support and empower them to challenge the system's adverse decision making. We recognise the barriers that being in poverty and having disabilities can cause. We know that many people in the community feel isolated because of these factors. More training in this area to follow by demand.