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Successful workshops for young people

Published: 11/07/2019

Flintshire County Council Inclusion Service, in partnership with Jane Bellis of Art & Soul Tribe and James Hunt of CAFgas, recently ran two workshops for young people who had become disengaged from education, employment and training (NEET).

These young people face a variety of life challenges and, for one reason or another, are disengaging from education. 

The providers worked with the young people to empower them to grasp positivity, to help them relate to others, to work in a team and find a positive focus for their future.  

The sessions ran initially for six weeks with a morning session for young women and one young man and an afternoon session for young men.  These focused on engaging the young people through activities which they found interesting and appealing.  The success achieved by the young people has led to a further six weeks being organised by the Council’s Progression Team.

The young people attending the morning session worked through a workbook called “Mindset Mojo” which has been developed by Jane to help young people explore their barriers and develop their confidence, whilst learning about hair and make-up techniques and other valuable skills for their future.

Those attending the afternoon sessions spent time with James Hunt, an ex-serviceman and owner of local heating engineering company CAFgas.  The attendees were shown how to use cutting tools and safety equipment, with the focus of the sessions being to use their newly learnt skills to produce a table and candlesticks out of copper piping.

Alice Williams, Flintshire’s Engagement Progressions Co-ordinator, said:

“Despite Flintshire having one of the lowest NEET levels in Wales and with the general trend of reduction, we still need to engage with young people who experience a variety of life challenges, to encourage them to look at possible future options, life choices and so on.  We look to work in partnership with our young people to identify realistic aims and goals. Most importantly, we need to work with them so they embrace the support on offer and benefit from it.

“Our team works hard to offer as many different experiences to these young people as possible and we have recently appointed Katy Griffiths, our new Alternative Education Co-ordinator who will support the team to extend the range of provision on offer.  These workshops are proving to be hugely successful and Flintshire will be looking to run more of them in the future.”

The Progression team works with many organisations and individuals and has developed a community approach to supporting young people across Flintshire.  Sid Madge, Founder of Meee, (My Education Employment Enterprise), an organisation which helps individuals of all ages identify their natural strengths, skills and values, visited the afternoon group to catch up with some of the young men he has worked with in the past.

Jane Bellis said:

“Alternative education provision is so important and needs to be recognised for the power and potential it holds. We need to get the message out far and wide that by empowering and boosting our most vulnerable young people, we can make profound changes within our communities and society as a whole. Times are changing rapidly and we live in a richly diverse, but incredibly high pressured society - it’s time for us to find innovative and positive ways to catch up.”

One young person said:

“I’ve loved the course – I don’t want it to end.  I’m now in college on a Summer Academy course which I am really enjoying.  I’m glad I did this and I would say to anyone else thinking of trying it – go ahead, you’ve got nothing to lose!  I’m hoping to find a suitable course with the help and support of the people here and find a job one day.”

Funding was through Flintshire County Council for the initial pilot programme for the girls, with the National Lottery Awards for All supporting a further 12 sessions (6 for boys and 6 for girls).  The projects were also supported by grants from Moving On Wrexham – a charity which awards one off grants, of up to £250, to support young people, from low income families, in progressing in work, education, training or volunteering within Wrexham County Borough and Flintshire.

For more information or if you are a company/individual who would like to get involved, please contact Alice Williams on 01352 704065 or email alice.williams@flintshire.gov.uk.

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Jason and Cira with their certificates    

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Charlie and Tom with their certificates and the 
table they made

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Alice Williams, Jane Bellis, Alice Marple - volunteer tutor,
Katy Griffiths with Jason and Cira

     

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Pizza time!

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Candlesticks made by the boys  

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Jason showing Katy his portfolio of work

 


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