Jack Hayward with Groundwork NE & Cumbria Youth Coach Michelle Rimmer
Recognition PR Business Team

Member Article

Youngsters Helped To Transform Their Lives

Support by Groundwork NE & Cumbria is helping transform the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in the region.

The social enterprise assists youngsters with their personal development by helping them improve their confidence and enhance their life skills

This has included:

  • Helping 170 disengaged young people, through the Youth Contract, progress to colleges, traineeships, and apprenticeships. This involved giving intensive support with the transition from school for those youngsters particularly at risk of not moving into further education and those who have given up on achieving any qualifications and have dropped out of the learning system.
  • 200 young people being involved in delivering Social Action projects and fundraising for charity clocking up more than 6,000 hours of volunteering as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS).
  • Enabling more than 300 young people to take part in the BIG Lottery Reconnect programme, and generate their own ideas to benefit the local community and then applying for funding to support the activities.
  • Assisting more than 50 teenagers complete the Motiv8 programme, which exists to improve the life chances of young people. The aim is to reduce the risk of offending, anti-social behaviour and disengagement from learning or employment through outdoor and learning activities.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Haywood, from Durham, has experienced a complete turnaround in his life after being referred to Groundwork after he became disruptive and his school attendance became poor.

At first he was reluctant to become involved and took some time to build a meaningful relationship with his Groundwork mentor. It materialised Jack had been subject to bullying and was putting up barriers to protect himself.

The teenager was encouraged to look at his behaviour and how this was impacting on his education and life in general. He also took part in a residential course comprising activities such as climbing, archery, street dancing, writing lyrics, drumming, singing, music production/recording, and organising a radio show.

All of this helped Jack to start altering his attitude and behaviour and consider what he wanted out of education. He now is studying Health and Personal Care at college and as a result of the residential course has improved his attitude to learning and ambitions for the future.

Jack said: “At first I found it hard to open up about how I felt and I also found it difficult meeting new people on the residential course.

“But in the end it was fantastic working with a diverse group of people and I developed some good friendships. I have changed a lot thanks to Groundwork. I feel so much better about myself and I am now looking forward to the future with renewed confidence and I hope to gain qualifications that will help me get a job.”

A group of youngsters, from Sunderland, on the NCS programme, has been given an understanding of what it is like to be responsible and think of others by organising charitable events. They secured £300 from the 02 Think Big initiative so they could contribute to Operation Christmas Child. They have shopped for gifts to put in shoeboxes to send to children in disadvantaged countries all over the world. They also took part in a Sponsored Onsie/Fancy Dress walk through Sunderland city centre to Seaburn beach, ending in a dip in the North Sea, to raise raised £200 for Mental Health Matters.

Kate Culverhouse, Groundwork NE & Cumbria Chief Executive, said: “We are determined to ensure that young people, who feel excluded from mainstream society and lack the confidence to grasp the opportunities that are available, are given the best support to help them make the most of their lives.

“Our holistic approach has seen more young people than ever move towards achieving their full potential, safe in the knowledge that they have guaranteed and ongoing help from our team of experts.

“Providing them with positive experiences and building skills that will allow them to move forwards with education or training means that they will have the ability to make a positive contribution to, rather than being a drain on, society.”

Groundwork has strong partnerships with organisations, including local authorities, which will refer potential Youth Contract participants.

In addition, Groundwork’s Youth Team engages with local communities. This includes Achievement Coaches liaising directly with pupils in schools across the region, who intervene if any individual is at risk of not progressing during or after year 11.

Groundwork’s Youth Team ensures that the young people settle into their new environments and that any issues are dealt with quickly and effectively to allow them to gain the most from new life enhancing experiences.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Recognition PR Business Team .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular North East morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read