Thanks to Suzanne for this report. Ed
Nine young Islanders have just completed 12 weeks together, working in two teams, to complete a very special TEAM challenge with the backing of The Prince’s Trust. Most of the young Islanders, who are aged between 16 and 25, were not in work and some had lost their way in their lives. All agreed that their lives had certainly changed after signing up for and completing this course.
No ordinary course this, as it was certainly not based on academic studies, although presentation skills and team building skills were on the agenda.
Bonding and team building
In week one there was general team building as the young people (eight men and one young woman) got to know each other. Other weeks took the form of a residential stay at UKSA Cowes which co-organised the course with the YMCA based in Shanklin and other activities based across the Island.
Whilst based at UKSA the teams undertook orienteering, Sports at Cowes Youth Centre as well as activities on the water – Kayaking, raft building and learning how to handle a RIB. A visit to the RNLI boat building centre in East Cowes and the RNLI lifeboat station in Cowes were also undertaken.
‘Challenge and Adventure’
After meeting Andrew Turner MP, the teams decided to help a local charity and looked at the merits of several before deciding to support ‘Challenge and Adventure’.
Tom from UKSA and Nicola from YMCA were team leaders for the challenge of upgrading the ‘Challenge and Adventure’ HQ so those with disabilities can visit. Constructing a firepit and log store were also undertaken transforming the ‘Challenge and Adventure’ HQ.
Practical work experience
During week six all the participants undertook work experience planning which was followed by the work experience itself.
Keeping to the requirements of various firms was difficult for some, but all the participants worked well and a number were so inspired with the work regime and ethos that they are now looking for work, have been offered employment or decided to undertake Maths and English studies to help with finding a career path. Some had not attended school on a regular basis so had missed much of any formal education.
Developing necessary skills
Other weeks saw the young people learning interview skills, writing CVs and working with ‘The Way Forward’ a charity based at Haylands Farm, Ryde as well as trying to persuade those aged between 16-18 that challenges such as this can really change a life.
During the final week all of the nine young people worked on the format of a final presentation of their achievements which was to be presented to an invited audience of instructors, representatives of the Island companies which had offered employment, families and friends.
“I feel like a new person”
Those taking part were: Jeanette Burt, Stuart Fraser, Wayne Fielding, Kerry Titcombe, Sam Storie and Aaron Hammond all from Newport, Safro Wingate from Shorwell, Ross Eglington from Shanklin and Dima Kurtin from Ryde.
Every one of the young people said how they felt on completion of the 12 weeks with such statements as “I feel like a new person”, “I have been motivated to work”, “I have new confidence which will lead to a better life” and “ I have developed social skills and can now speak to people I have not met before”. All nine paid tribute to the team leaders and others who had helped them.
An Island Course for Island young people
Introducing the young people, Lee Jones, TEAM coordinator, thanked all those attending the presentation and said that it was the first time for ten years that the Prince’s Trust had supported such a scheme on the Island – an Island Course for Island young people.
Partnerships between UKSA and YMCA, local charities and businesses had worked well and it was now planned for another course to take place in the Autumn.
Anyone who knows of a young person who might benefit from such a course can contact UKSA or the local YMCA offices.