My name is Sharlene, and my business is called reconnect.
Reconnect supports and encourages young people with the transition from childhood to adulthood with any issues that they may face, for example, awareness of sexual health, (London has one of the highest number of STI’s and underage pregnancies as well).
I have over 15 years of working with young people as a youth worker and project worker. I’ve worked with Southwark probation team, and I’ve worked within Lambeth.
My interest in developing Reconnect was that each organisation that I worked with didn’t have the fill factor where they followed the situations the whole way through. They would deal with one part, and then pass them on to another organisation, but no one would actually know if their situation was actually dealt with, if there’s anything more that they maybe needed help with. This is why I thought, why can’t I do something where I make sure that if the young person has issues, or problems, that I’m with them for all stages of that and actually seeing the change or what they need to make the work we’re putting in actually successful.
So far, I’ve been working with other people. So, I help out at the Brixton soup kitchen, and when young people come in, I help mentor them, and I’ve done workshops with a youth centre in Lambeth as well, but not yet under my business.
What is the best thing about starting Reconnect?
Actually doing something that you want to do. Also, when you go to networking events and speak to other people, and you get the feeling that actually there is a fill factor for what you are doing, and it is needed out there, and obviously I can’t actually wait to help the young person and actually see that through my work that it has done something for them.
What are some of the struggles you’ve faced?
At the moment the struggle is I believe I need to be registered in order to apply for like grants and funding, so I’ve seen Dirk this week, just to get a better understanding of what type to register my business as, a social enterprise or limited by guarantee. They’re practically the same thing, but I need to know which one is best suited to me. And business planning as well.
If you could have any enterprise related super power what would it be?
I guess to be able to get clients and other organisations to give me the chance to fulfil my workshops and mentoring, and to see it working