We would like to begin by saying that we are relentless, just like the runner in the moving image, and our story started long before establishing Streets of Growth. Our founder and co-founders grew up and/or lived on the very council estates we engage today and had already put in many 'hard mile' years of extremely challenging and intensive 24/7 frontline work (often volunteered). Even today as employees, we also still volunteer and are donors to our charity. This isn't a job to us, we live and breath this work and what it really requires, which is why being 'authentic' means so much to us.
During the mid 1990's despite neighbourhood regeneration taking place within and beyond the fringes of our London borough, we could see a growing number of young adults disengaged and becoming marginalised and left behind. As a consequence, many were getting caught up in anti-social behaviour, street gangs, drug dealing/taking, violence, associated criminality, and the criminal justice system.
In April 2000 our founder Darren Way was awarded a Churchill Fellowship doing extensive international research in the U.S.A.. collaborating with world class practitioners in this field, who themselves were asking similar questions and building transformative approaches. Returning inspired, Darren and co-founder CEO Diane Peters established Streets of Growth in 2001. As other locals and professionals joined the cause, we committed our lives and careers to build a prevention and intervention model that really challenged and removed the unhealthy sole dependence upon institutions, welfare state, Police, Prisons, and Youth Clubs being the answer to tackling disenfranchised and marginalised young communities living dangerous harmful lifestyles. Please note, when we say 'removing the dependence' not the need. It has been an extraordinary journey of determination and resilience where we have had to move around the borough from one 'temporary meanwhile space' to another, whether that be a disused shop front in a crime hotspot, a dilapidated factory, disused office block or ex-nursery space. Every move involved designing and converting dilapidated spaces with no grant build funding and using 95% reclaimed, repurposed, upcycled materials and volunteering. Despite the physical move disruption caused, we maintained and sustained our practices and impacts working with over 4000 young adults and their families to date.
A new addition and unfolding element to our remarkable story is that throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic to this point, our highly dedicated team have not stopped. We continued to offer frontline services to try and ensure our young people and their streets were safe, and totally readapted our face to face intervention coaching with our young clients to ensure they maintained their progress in life, education and career. Today, in partnership with Tower Hamlets Homes and The Bangladeshi Fashion Council (with the vital support of crowd funding), we have adapted a community hub building into an intervention and creative industries space based in the heart of Bethnal Green east London. However, we are now looking for a more permanent or longer-term home to advance and sustain our vital services. (If you or anyone you may know of has a site premises that would be suitable for us to rent for our much needed cause, then do please get in touch and be part of our amazing story and journey).
Diane specialised in youth intervention and regeneration in 2000, bringing with her extensive global research experience.
Diane grew up in Rubery, Birmingham, but moved to London aged 25 years to develop a career as a Health Researcher. She progressed as a Health Action Worker setting up Healthy Living Programmes in east London, and became the first Healthy Living Centre Manager in the UK.
Hobbies and interests include: Reading Literature, Travelling, meeting interesting dynamic people.
Diane Peters -
Koyes grew up in Bromley By Bow, East London and learned from a young age how best to negotiate the street politics and peer pressured environment that young people can fall into. Disillusioned with his Business Administration Apprenticeship, Streets of Growth helped him refocus.
Koyes soon joined the team and has grown to specialise in outreach, gang intervention, and project progression.
Hobbies and interests include: Cars, Keep Fit, Football, New Experiences, Tigers
Koyes - Frontline
Mark King -
Finance & Accounts
Lucky grew up on the very Tower Hamlets council estates she transforms today. She has gone through our development model herself, been a young adult volunteer, and is now central in the senior management team. Lucky has a profound pool of knowledge regarding neighbourhood dynamics and is extremely experienced in combining her street intervention with entrepreneurial projects.
Personal hobbies and interests include: Arts & Crafts, Designing, Learning about different cultures, Investing in community relationships
Lucky Nessa- Director of Progammes
Darren was born in east London’s Mile End, where his family has lived for generations. He left school early and went into the construction Industry as a Painter & Decorator, but later regained his passion for learning in Acting & Theatre Studies. Darren has over two decades of frontline intervention with young communities and has travelled the world sharing his knowledge and learning best practice within the industry.
Hobbies and interests include: Close-up Magic, World Travel, Applied Psychology, Writing
Darren Way -Founder & Lead for Applied
Research & Consultancy
Majeda was raised in Tower Hamlets experiencing
some of the dynamics we face in the estates today, which
gave her the passion and drive to become an intervention
coach. She struggled through education but eventually
graduated, and came across Streets of Growth who offered
the opportunity to gain valuable insights and skills to pursue the drive she had since being a teenager.
Hobbies and interests include: Engaging in sports - especially boxing, meeting people from different walks of life and being the change in people’s lives.
Majeda Begum- Frontline Team Leader
Trustees & Patrons
Rakesh is a Recruitment Manager at State Street. He has strong recruitment and retention experience, HR knowledge with a strong network, and influencing senior stakeholders both internally and externally.
He has a good understanding of both the graduate and experienced hire recruitment market, ability to plan and execute strategic goals on a local and international level, and strong coaching and mentoring skills.
Previous volunteering experience includes; mentoring & coaching with the University of East London supporting, arranging and facilitating events for underprivileged children via the State Street Aspire programme.
John Barber (DL)
Who We Recruit
Being a Third Sector Charity, means that working at Streets of Growth can feel very different to working for a mainstream statutory organisation or institution. .It comes with a lot more freedom to innovate, but we are a progressively fast paced organisation where you will need a lot of creative stamina and resilience. Whatever your role at Streets of Growth (frontline or backline), we only recruit and invest in the development of practitioners who act with maturity and integrity regard professional conduct.
In terms of being a Intervention Coach in this context, it will be one of the most humanly rewarding but challenging career roles you will ever venture into. Those who unwittingly come into this specialist area of intervention work assuming it is about "challenging and changing others" without being challenged and changing themselves, soon find they come up short and get caught out by the work. The hard reality is that our targeted client population live and lead complex, complicated and chaotic lifestyles 'out of sequence' of organisational timeframes and programme structures. In order to gain the trust of your client case loads and to start making breakthroughs, you have to be prepared to design and implement creative, robust and adaptable working timetables that can deal with 'real time' intervention and it's surprises. Put simply, If think you can design this role into a 9-5 / Mon-Fri lifestyle, then this work and our approach is not for you.
The final point to seriously consider is that we hold ourselves highly accountable and responsible to our vision, values, practice, partners, funders, young clients, their families and communities. This is to ensure we achieve and maintain the highest standards and impacts. We recruit and invest in staff who share this ethical working culture and ambition, and who are genuinely committed to doing the same.
If you believe this is you, then we would like to hear from you.
There are currently no paid employed career vacancies at Streets of Growth.
We will post up on our website when such positions become available.
Do you feel inspired by what we are innovating with young adults at Streets of Growth and have skills and experience that you feel could add value to our cause? If so, there are a variety of different ways that you can be involved. With a growing number of 15-25-year olds getting stuck and being drawn or pressured into harmful lifestyles and needing our help, we rely on enthusiastic volunteers to support our core team and the programming we offer.