Leap Confronting Conflict is a national youth charity that works directly with young people struggling with conflict and also trains the adult professionals working with them. Based in London, Leap has 13 employees and 40 volunteers. It was founded in 1987 and has an annual income of around £1 million.
Leap offers a range of programmes that support young people to manage conflict in their lives. These include self-reflective group work, pastoral care outside of formal training and peer mediation. These programmes are delivered by an experienced team of trainers. Improving Prospects is Leap’s flagship community-based programme designed to give young people, aged 16-21, an insight into the causes and consequences of conflict. Two short courses are offered: Leadership and Choice to Change.
Leap supports young people’s engagement and progression by providing one-to-one input before, during and after training. On completion of the programme, young people may decide to become a Leap trainer, volunteer at Leap or with another organisation, return to education or secure employment.
The charity also offers training for adult practitioners. Training is intended to help them develop the skills and tools needed to better respond to young people at risk of violence, offending behaviour and also to those struggling with low self-esteem and aspirations.
Leap also works in partnership with schools, pupil referral units, youth offending services, voluntary sector organisations and local councils, among other organisations. It works with each organisation to design a programme that will best respond to its needs. Programmes support young people to gain understanding of themselves and professionals to develop their confidence and skills. Leap also offers consultancy services, supporting a range of organisations to gain a greater understanding of the way they manage conflict, enabling them to bring about lasting culture change.
Leap also runs projects on specific issues. In 2016, the charity launched a three year ‘Leadership and Enterprise’ project in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. The aim is to work with other organisations in the area to build relationship with young people either in, or at risk of being in, gangs. Another current project, ‘Peaceful Prisons’, is aimed at developing intervention to reduce violence in prisons. The three year project combines Leap's 20 years of experience in training prisoners and prison staff with the latest academic research on prison violence and the charity’s own research.
Leap’s work is delivered by internal staff, freelance trainers and volunteers. Young people are represented at every level of the charity - as trustees, staff, trainers and volunteers.