Unemployed 16-19 year olds celebrate their success at conclusion of training programme
A group of 16-19-year-olds gathered at the Growing Well project, Low Sizergh Farm, south of Kendal, on Tuesday 31st July, to mark the conclusion of the Working Well programme, designed specifically to give young unemployed people free training, work experience and world class personal development.
Figures released at the turn of the year showed that youth unemployment had reached a staggering 1 million and it’s widely acknowledged that young people today face huge challenges in their lives.
So it was with a great sense of pride that representatives from Brathay, together with our partners in the project Growing Well, decided to celebrate with those who have graduated from the programme.
Participants chose their final day to invite parents, relatives and friends to an informal tour, of the impressive Growing Well facilities, to see what the young group have been getting up to over the last 8 months. Guests were delighted to discover the positive impact the programme has had on the group and hear how the 2-day-a-week course has helped to improve the employability of those young people on it.
Furthermore, by securing a Level 1 Practical Horticultural Skills qualification, participants have also increased their chances of progressing into further education.
Claire Kestell, from Brathay Trust said: “The Working Well programme has given these young people an invaluable experience of the organic growing business and has seen them tackle everything from seed-sowing and planting to harvesting and packing produce. It has been a great discipline for them and they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
Rob Ablitt a participant on the programme from Kendal said: “The programme has given me a great deal of confidence and I’ve also found that the regular tasks involved has improved my time management. I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience and I’m hoping that the skills and knowledge that I’ve picked up will help me to get a job.”
Hazel Sharples from Growing Well said: “We’ve been delighted to offer training to this group of young people alongside our volunteer team. It’s been a challenging and interesting programme for Growing Well and Brathay to work together on.”
Claire Kestell was keen to stress the many benefits of attending the programme: “The young group also experienced a series of personal development workshops, at our residential HQ, Brathay Hall, on the shores of Windermere. This has ensured that each individual on the programme has developed the personal skills and confidence needed to enter the world of work or proceed into education.”
The group had the opportunity to experience some fantastic outdoor activities including Zip Wires and the Pamper Pole, where the group had to work as a team to support each other in overcoming experiential, outdoor, challenges.
The programme was aimed at young people who left school in 2011 and who have not yet found work, training or education.
Watch a video about the Working Well programme!