(BBC News School Report) ‘East to West’ – the charity that brings hope to young lives

East to West is a charity that supports young people founded in 1996 working in the Surrey boroughs, Windsor and Maidenhead. Their mission statement is to ‘bring hope to young lives’ through actively journeying with young people, pursuing emotional, physical and spiritual wholeness for all. The organisation aims to help them to gain self-confidence and find security within a nurturing family. It also seeks to help a range of types of people, from young carers to unemployed young persons, and at the heart of the charity lies relation support work which they define as a long term commitment to journey with children, young adults and families through the issues that they are addressing.

We interviewed Ms Jones to get more information about it.

She told us that they are there to support vulnerable students that may have troubles at home or are struggling with other issues such as self-harm or eating problems. Additionally, she informed us that they can act as a source of support if one is not present at home or school. Thamesmead aims to integrate with this charity, as the school believes that this charity could drastically improve the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of many students that attend Thamesmead School. It encourages students to communicate their problems as opposed to keeping them bottled up, which is the opening thrust to solving their problems by communicating with someone that can provide support and advice.

Ms Jones also said they could increase publicity by putting up posters around school and even assemblies to make more people aware of the services East to West offer. In this way, more pupils will understand there is somewhere for them to turn to when life’s challenges become too burdensome.

Representatives from the charity itself informed us that they also wanted to gain more publicity but not through national news and larger companies, but through visiting schools personally through Religion, Philosophy and Ethics lessons and assemblies. They would like to expand into primary and secondary schools, helping companies with vulnerable employees and families who are unable to function at home.

Overall this charity is very helpful in improving the confidence of students in times of difficulty. They can even help them find jobs for the future and have improved over 1,200 lives so far, proving that East to West are here to stay.