Your Life

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What is Your Life You Choose?

YLYC is a Schools Educational project principally focused on 11 and 12 year olds.

The Project provides a day-long programme, normally hosted by your local school. You can find Project Days being run across the country, but if you don’t have one locally, think about starting one up where you are.

The Project Day brings together a host of agencies and individuals who speak to the students about the consequences and impact of crime on the young offender, the victim, and the families of both, together with the wider community .

At the end of the Project Day, pupils are given a ‘helpline‘ card with details of where they can seek help and support if they feel they cannot turn to their parents, the school or any other responsible adult.

Both pupils and teachers feedback their reaction to the day . Have a look at what goes into these evaluations.



How do we do this?

We do this by demonstrating the impact crime has on a young person.

The project highlights how crime affects  a young offender and how it spoils their life chances. Additionally, it shows the effects of crime on the victim, on the parents and families of both the offender and victim, as well as the wider communities.

We do this through our highly praised programme Project Day and Testimonials.

Who is involved

The project is led by teams of magistrates, who volunteer their services and co-ordinate the partner agencies and liaise with individual schools in setting up a project day.

YLYC uses a multi- agency approach and can provide a programme to address a particular issue that any one school may be experiencing. Normally there are many agencies involved in presenting to the students on a Project Day.

Agencies involved:

  • Police Safer Schools Officers,
  • Youth Offending Teams,
  • Victim Support,
  • Prison Officers,
  • Ex Offenders,
  • Drug Awareness Teams,
  • Magistrates
  • Other specific specialist teams.


In your area

The essence of the project is that each is locally run within the community by local agencies.
Historically it has been organised by local magistrates in the community, but not in every area.

The YLYC team invite you to spend a day with them to see a Project Day in progress. Visit our list of teams to find one nearest to you.

The Your Life You Choose team can help you set up a project in your area.

The benefits of the project are enormous:

  • Providing a wrap round approach raising the awareness of the effects of crime on children,
  • Inter-agency working using local knowledge and a local referral system,
  • Building local relationships between the schools and agencies.

YLYC founding history

YLYC was founded by Mrs. Diana Dishley MBE JP, a retired teacher, in 2008 in the London Borough of Ealing.

The 2008 project was developed from a Welsh programme called ‘Crime of Your Life’, which the team had used since 2002.

The programme was revised in 2014 to address the changing pattern of offending, and young people’s involvement in gangs.

In 2013 Mrs Dishley, together with former prison officer Anthony Boden, were both awarded an MBE for their work with the Project.