The Jack Hazeldine Foundation (JHF) is a charity based in Clevedon. It was set up six years ago to support and empower disadvantaged young people in North Somerset. Through an extensive mentoring programme, the JHF helps children and young adults build their resilience and confidence to overcome issues that have a serious impact on their development and lives.
Pearl Cross is the JHF’s managing director and her team provides young people with access to experienced and passionate youth mentors, many of whom are former teachers, police officers, sports development coaches and social workers. They are all caring, responsible adults who are hugely committed to helping young people develop important lifestyle skills by providing a positive influence in their lives.
The JHF recently moved to its new office in Kenn Road, Clevedon, having previously operated from a youth centre in Portishead. This has helped the charity, as Pearl was keen to highlight. She told us, “Moving to our new location has helped us expand our operations and outreach. Alongside our great team of mentors we have been able to upscale our activities in areas such as communications, marketing and events, to try and raise awareness of the charity’s profile which will hopefully attract more interest and funding.”
However, Pearl stressed that the JHF’s main focus remains firmly on directly helping young people. She said, “Our mentors spend thousands of hours each year engaging with young people to provide positive role models for them. Many of the young adults and children have struggled to cope with ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ so with our support they can build their self-esteem, confidence and resilience to help them deal with the issues that impact their everyday lives. This process also empowers them to tackle and overcome behavioural disorders and educational obstacles and allows them to thrive by following a positive and beneficial path through their later lives.”
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term that is unfortunately, becoming all too common. A large percentage of young people have gone through ACEs which are stressful or traumatic events, including neglect and abuse. They may also include witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders. ACEs are strongly linked to the development, and prevalence, of a wide range of issues and health problems throughout a person’s lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse.
The JHF’s Youth Mentoring Programme delivers 1-2-1 mentoring tailored to the needs of each individual. They work with young people in a variety of situations, supporting them within a school environment and elsewhere within the community.
As previously mentioned, The JHF is trying hard to raise awareness of its capabilities and this weekend it is holding an exciting event on Clevedon’s seafront. Sunday 4th November sees the great JHF Charity Fun Run taking place. There’s a 500m course for children to complete and a five kilometre course for adults to tackle. Participants are welcome to run, jog or walk and registration starts at 10.00am on the Bandstand.
The activity commences at 10.30am for the young people and 11.00am for the grown-ups. A small fee applies to take part (£3 for children, £5 for adults) and refreshments will also be available. It promises to be a great event, promoting both a healthy activity and a very worthy local charity committed to helping our children face a bright future. Please get along if you can, to take part or support the participants!
Pearl concluded, “The JHF is hugely committed to making a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in our North Somerset heartland. Our team has done some amazing work so far and has achieved brilliant results, but we want to do more and are increasing our focus on early intervention. We are regularly asked ‘Who is Jack Hazeldine?’ Well, the Hazeldine family founded The JHF in 2012 in memory of Jack who had a huge influence on the development of his grandson Ben Hazeldine as both a role model and a mentor. Jack’s influence clearly demonstrated how powerful strong role models can be and the positive impact they can have on vulnerable people’s lives.”
Find out more about the Jack Hazeldine Foundation here: