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Year End UpdateFollowing the success of this pilot programme, with all targets being met or exceeded, an extension of the contract has been awarded to Chesterfield College to deliver a further three cohorts. Funding from the Adult Learner Responsive Fund is also being used to match fund the WNF.During Quarter 4, additional sessions were delivered in response to feedback from focus groups. These additions included an employer visit, guest speakers, and a volunteering morning.

Raising Aspirations (Young People) - Case Studies

Nathan

Nathan has been in care for several years and moved from his foster home to a residential centre about 10 months ago.

When he arrived, Nathan was not confident in using public transport, making purchases in shops, had little traffic sense and lacked the skills he required to have a full life.

Nathan is now attending Chesterfield College where he is doing a foundation course. He has sustained college well with excellent attendance; however there have been difficulties. Nathan’s Project Worker was able to advocate for him with his tutor and as a result of this intervention Nathan is having a full assessment of needs so that appropriate support can be put in place.

The Project Worker employed via Barnardo’s, Liz Caines, has supported Nathan beyond his educational achievements; they have been shopping for fishing gear, clothes and music; caught buses; been for meals and to the cinema and played pool. This has resulted in Nathan gradually becoming more confident in interacting with people and doing things for himself; making him a more independent young man.

Nathan has identified that the support offered by Liz has made him feel more confident and mature and helped him sustain his progression at college as he has been occupied during his days off to prevent boredom from becoming an issue. The project didn’t assist Nathan to progress and leave him; they have supported him to sustain his placement by providing activities on days off and taking an interest in him outside of college. This has made the difference for Nathan who has now, in addition to college and all his other interests, started a part-time job at a garden centre.

He would like to be involved with the Raising Aspirations Project in the future, and with the right level of support aims to continue for a second year at college. The project will continue to assist Nathan in reaching his full potential. 


Young care leavers in Bolsover unleash their potential

Seventy young people across the Bolsover area have been given a helping hand to realise their potential as part of a project to support people leaving care.

Over a dozen of those who took part in the project joined a celebration event to mark their achievements.

From finding new confidence to live more independently and make new friends to taking up new work and training opportunities, the young people were congratulated on their commitment throughout the initiative at an event held at the Do-nut Studios in Chesterfield.

The project was run by Raising Aspirations in Bolsover, which funded support for the young people from Action for Children and Barnardo's.

Clare Talati, Project Manager at Raising Aspirations in Bolsover, said: "The young people involved in this project have put in a tremendous amount of work to progress their own personal development, and we wanted to congratulate them and celebrate this success."

Other young people who have been supported by the wider Raising Aspirations Project - including young mums and young people with a variety of needs - were also recognised at the event.

Staff from the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover team and Barnardo's were among those who attended the day. Cllr Anne Western, Derbyshire County Councillor for Clowne and Barlborough, also attended and gave a closing speech on the day.

 

Louise

Louise was referred to the Raising Aspirations Project in July 2011 by Frederick Gent School as she was transferring to them and had moved areas to reside with her dad.  There were concerns from her new school that she may not be able to cope with a full timetable on site as there had been issues at her previous school regarding behaviour and attendance. The transition to the new school was to take place in September 2011, therefore the first stage was to engage with Louise over the summer period to identify what she would like to participate in and work with her to identify a way forward, whether it was mainstream school or an alternative package or indeed a combination. Louise already had multiple agencies supporting her and therefore it was essential that she opted to work with Raising Aspirations willingly.

The initial contact was handled by John Ryan, substance misuse worker and then linking with the transition worker for the project, Terisa Anthony. It was evident that Louise was lacking in confidence and her self esteem was very low. She needed to participate in an activity to address this and be at a point where she could look ahead positively.

Terisa’s initial contact with Louise was in August 2011 when she conducted a home visit with John. Terisa was introduced as her Project Worker and Louise was invited to attend a Media course at Creswell. This course was designed for young people at key transition points, who needed to increase their confidence and identify the skills that they had to offer and the course used these skills in a creative format.  Louise expressed an interest in the course as she said she wanted to get out of the house and mix with other young people and any initial concerns were addressed.

Louise attended weekly throughout the summer and contributed greatly to the film making project, getting involved both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, even taking one of the lead roles.  Throughout the 8 weeks Louise had a few issues that highlighted how vulnerable she was, but because of her level of engagement with the project, these issues were disclosed and dealt with promptly. Multi agency contact continued throughout the summer, providing positive feedback to the statutory agencies she was supported by. This was something that Louise was unsure how to handle, as she hadn’t had positive feedback for a long time.  At the end of the course there was a celebration evening at the Donut Studios in Chesterfield which Louise attended and she received a DVD of the film and a certificate and Louise expressed how her confidence has increased and was even interviewed for a DVD highlighting her involvement in the project. She now felt that she had more confidence and would look at going to college in the future.

Throughout the course she was supported to identify the next steps she would like to take and despite the earlier claims of areas she was interested in being around childcare, a keen interest emerged in caring for animals, specifically horses. This option was pursued by the Project and a package sought that could give Louise qualifications, not only in horse care, but in literacy and numeracy. Louise attended interviews, a visit and a taster, progressing onto a trial period which she passed and she has now commenced her Level 1 in Horse Care at Brimington Equestrian Centre. Despite the harsh environment, spending hours outside, plus the classroom based sessions; Louise is attending fully and is heading into her second term and doing well with positive feedback being received from the provider regarding Louise’s attitude to work and conduct. This package is being joint funded by the project and Frederick Gent School. Louise is now hoping to go to college after passing her level 1 course to continue in this line of training. Terisa will continue to support Louise through the programme, continuing to visit on site, at home and being an advocate for Louise at the multi agency meetings where Louise’s progress in reviewed and action planned. Raising Aspirations will aim to support Louise in achieving her full potential. 

 

Amy

The Living with Children project worker, Fearn Barnett, first met Amy along with her partner and son in May 2011 on a home visit. She called to introduce herself and extend an invitation to attend a family event at Creswell Crags.

Through attendance at the Crags family session Amy took an active role in a taster session for a 6 week ‘Living with Children’ course, a course designed to look at self esteem, communication, feelings and problem solving. Amy expressed an interest to come along to the course as she said she wanted to get out of the house, meet new friends and enable her son to socialise with other children his age and had been unsure how to go about it. I agreed I would pass her details onto the local children’s centre so they could let her know what groups were running so that her social circle could extend beyond the weekly sessions she had agreed to be part of.

As well as encouraging Amy to attend to weekly sessions Fearn passed Amy’s details on to the local children’s centre so that they could tell her about the groups that were running. Amy attended the first session of the Living with Children programme and despite initial nerves she fitted in with the group very well. The whole group were supportive of each other, making it a safe environment for them to share ideas and to take part in the activities.

During one of the sessions Fearn observed that Amy was particularly quiet and withdrawn and when they spoke 1:1, Amy disclosed that her partner had lost his job and they were struggling to afford the rent on their house. Fearn informed Amy that she could make a referral to YMCA tenancy support worker so that their housing issues could be addressed and advised her of other support available. Together they drew up an action plan so that she knew who to contact and she subsequently contacted the council to apply for housing benefit.

Amy continued to attend the sessions and in addition to this Fearn spoke with Amy each week to see how her home situation was; YMCA supporting her and a contract had been drawn up with her landlord to clear their arrears and her partner had found a new job, so things were back on the up.

The Living with Children course was accredited through the ASDAN award facilitated by the Youth Service, and each week Amy had produced written work to complete the course material to gain the accreditation. This was the first accredited learning Amy had participated in for a while and was a big achievement.

On the last session of the course a film crew came in to film the session as part of the WNF promotional DVD and asked to interview a couple of the mums to find out how they found the course overall. Amy agreed to be one of the mums interviewed for the film which proved to be a highlight of the final edit. This was a huge step for Amy and demonstrated how her confidence had developed throughout the course. She was amazed that she had been able to do this and was rightfully very proud of herself for undertaking this daunting task so well.

Amy has been introduced to her local Children’s Centre to access their groups and following completion of the 6 week programme she advised that she would like to attend another short course. Fearn therefore accompanied her for a story sack course which was delivered by Family Learning in her local area. The other parents responded well to Amy and again her social network has developed and she is now enrolled on the course and will gain a further accreditation and a story sack that she can use with her son to develop his literacy skills.

When Fearn first met Amy she had wanted to go to local groups but did not know how to find out about what groups were available for her and now she has not only achieved her goal but she has engaged with learning again, is aware of the support services for her locally and is developing her confidence even further than she hoped and continues to be engaged with the project.

 

Bolsover and Chesterfield young people mix it up!Image of young people with DJ Bailey

Young people from Bolsover and Chesterfield worked alongside a national radio DJ to produce their own CDs and artwork as part of a hands-on project.

Dozens of teenagers joined forces with Radio 1 Xtra’s DJ Bailey to create their own DJ mixes in the workshop, which was designed to boost their skills, confidence and motivation.

They also got the chance to produce a digital CD cover, write a short biography about themselves and hear about DJ Bailey’s experiences of working in the music industry.

The workshop at Chesterfield’s Donut Studios was the culmination of a four-week programme for Year 9-11 pupils at five schools, organised by the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project, and Get Going in Chesterfield.

Clare Talati, Project Manager at Raising Aspirations in Bolsover, said: “The workshop was a huge success and all of the young people really enjoyed getting creative with the technology, with some great results.

“The young people also captured the whole day on film so they can show off their achievements from the day to all their family and friends!”

Parents and carers attended in the afternoon, when the young people showcased their work and were presented with certificates.

Pupils from Shirebrook Academy, Heritage High School, Frederick Gent School, Bolsover School and Springfield Community School in Chesterfield, as well as other young people not in education, employment or training, took part in the four-week programme, which was delivered by media production company, 83 Audio Visual.

Clare added: “The celebration day topped off what has been a really positive course, which was designed to teach the young people new skills, and to help improve their confidence and motivation.”

 

Joe makes a breakthrough

Joe was referred to the project in May 2010 by his Connexions Personal Advisor. He lacked motivation and accepted being Not in Education Employment and Training (NEET). In addition Joe needed support to control his drinking and drug use, issues that had been identified by the Youth Worker.

When John, the project worker, first engaged Joe they met weekly to address his issues and he was kept motivated by talking about where he would like to be and looking ahead and this helped increase his confidence. In August 2010 Joe signed up to do a training programme with the Prince’s Trust through which he had the chance to gain City and Guilds qualifications. He was supported through the interview process and Joe secured a place. John attended the end presentation session to recognise the achievement made as Joe was successful in gaining both qualifications and being offered the opportunity to progress, however his home life was becoming chaotic and he was unable to focus on this at the time.

Joe was supported through the chaos at home, which eventually ended up with him being homeless and sofa surfing. This was making it very difficult for Joe to attend any provision as he had other priorities. He was therefore supported by John to find appropriate supported accommodation with the South Yorkshire Housing Project, and Joe is now receiving support from them to cope with the demands of living independently. Stabilising his housing situation provided Joe with the space to revaluate his situation and he was accepted onto a local foundation learning programme and has an offer of employment from a landscaping company. 

Due to partnership working and the support of the project, Joe is now holding a tenancy, has significantly decreased his use of substances and is planning a future. The project will continue to support Joe to sustain his progression.

 

Raising Aspirations all the way to The Gambia!

On Saturday 26 March 2011, 23 students from Bolsover School began a journey they will no doubt remember for the rest of their lives. Jetting off from Manchester Airport, the students, accompanied by six staff, set off on their way to The Gambia!

“This was the school’s third visit to The Gambia, thanks to a link that was started almost four years ago when Gordon Inglis was appointed headteacher,” explains Julie Dickinson, Head of Arkwright House and leader of the school party.

As well as taking in the sights of The Gambia’s capital city, Fajara, visiting Georgetown and the former slave quarter and the shanty towns of Serrekunda, a key part of the students’ trip was to spend time with children at Yiriwa Nursery School in Jamisa, and Kuntaya Secondary School.

“At the secondary school, we opened a 40 foot container full of useful resources which we had shipped over from the UK,” says Julie. “With students’ fund-raising activities such as bag-packing at our local supermarket, car washing and selling cakes, together with donations from the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project, we managed to raise the money we needed to send the shipment. The container was full to the brim with essentials collected by our students – from library books, text books, crayons and toys, to microwaves, sewing machines and bicycles!”

Project manager, Clare Talati, explains how the visits to The Gambia help young people, and why it was important to offer Raising Aspirations’ support.

“This visit allowed our local young people to experience the cultural and educational differences of a small African country – to see how schools operate, how people live, their environmental and political issues, and to further enhance the relationships with their link schools,” says Clare.  “For the students on a personal level, it’s fantastic to see their self-esteem and aspirations raised, and they gain a real sense of independence and confidence – all thanks to the meaningful and valuable activity they get involved in. This cultural and social experience will definitely have an impact and will play a major role in each student’s future development. This is what the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project is all about.”

“The young people that took part this year will share their experiences with their peers, hopefully encouraging many of them to get involved next year,” says Julie Dickinson. “Visiting The Gambia is truly life-changing for many of them, and it’s fantastic to see, first-hand, the positive effects of such a worthwhile project.”

 

Shirebrook’s students get a taste of college life thanks to Raising Aspirations in Bolsover

For many young people, the thought of leaving school and moving on to college, is a daunting prospect to say the least. College is unknown territory – the first step towards independence and ‘the big wide world’, and while that’s incredibly exciting for many, for others it’s a fearful thought.

To try and alleviate some of their students’ concerns about moving on post-16, and try and ensure as smooth a transition as possible, Shirebrook Academy has been running a ‘super learning day’ as part of their Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) programme. 

“For this year’s Year 11s, we wanted to develop the programme further, so I talked to Clare Talati, manager of the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project, about how we could give students a real insight into what the college option would entail,” explains Tracy Horton, Shirebrook Academy’s CEG Manager.

Clare and Tracy came up with the ambitious plan of giving the whole of Shirebrook’s Year 11 a day at a local college. That’s over 150 students plus 10 Year 10s from Stubbin Wood School which will be co-located with Shirebrook Academy when it’s re-built next year. Once Clare had pitched and agreed the idea with West Notts College in Mansfield, the day took place in February this year.

“The day consisted of three main sessions,” says Clare Talati. “Study Skills, delivered by Inspire Training, a tour of the college’s support services, and a subject taster that students could choose – these ranged from Construction, Engineering and Computing, to Art, Media and Hair and Beauty.”

“The Year 11s all had lunch with the other college students,” continues Clare. “We felt that this was an important aspect of the college experience and it was a great chance for the pupils to talk to some of Shirebrook’s ex-students about how they were finding their college-lives.”

Feedback from the day has been very positive – from both Shirebrook’s Year 11s, and West Notts College.

“The whole event ran really smoothly thanks to the hard work, planning and good organisation of the Raising Aspirations team and Emma Leaver and Stephanie Hoult at West Notts College,” says Tracy Horton. “Our students got a lot out of the day – it helped dispel some of their fears and reinforce their high expectations about moving on to a course at college. I’m sure it has encouraged a lot of young people to now consider going to college, when they may not have done before, and we’re keen to run the day again next year.”

 

Young Families Encouraged to Make it! 

Tom, Nikita and baby David Making It!

A young family, who attended an event organised by the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project, is reaping the benefits of some of the opportunities presented to them during the day.

Young parents, Tom Munks and Nikita Greatorex, came along to the event at the Making it! Discovery Centre in Mansfield, with their baby son, David. Children were encouraged to ‘get creative’ – making hand prints, greetings cards and wind chimes – while their teenage parents could find out more about courses, facilities and services available to them from local colleges.

In partnership with Children’s Centres from the district, Bolsover District’s Dads worker, Mark Rigby, was also on hand to support young fathers. Tom found Mark’s help and advice invaluable, and he’s stayed in touch, attending ‘Dads workshops’ on a regular basis.

“Young mums, quite rightly, receive a lot of help and support from a wide variety of agencies, but it’s important to recognise young dads need help too,” says project manager, Clare Talati. “Mark has really supported Tom – reassuring him that he’s being a good dad to David – and encouraging him to make plans for his future. As a result, Tom has decided that he’d like to pursue a career in childcare, and he’s now managed to get a place at Chesterfield College on a Childcare course, starting in January 2011.”

Nikita has also benefited from attending the Making it! event. She is now part of Creswell Children’s Centre’s young mums group – making friends and sharing experiences with other young people like her – and is making plans to return to college in 2011, when David is a little older.

“It’s fantastic to see how Tom and Nikita have embraced the help and opportunities we presented to them,” says Fearn Barnett, Raising Aspirations Project Worker for Teenage Parents. “With our ongoing support, the future is looking positive for both them, and their little boy, and we look forward to seeing the progress they make.”

 

'Joe' takes centre stage in Bolsover schools

Sixteen-year-old Joe Stevenson used to have dreams. He thought he could do anything and be anyone, but ‘things’ had gone wrong for him, and he’d reached the point where he just didn’t care what happened to him.

Luckily for Joe, he got expert advice through all his trials and tribulations, but from an unusual place – groups of Year 11 students from the Bolsover district.

‘Joe’ is actually a fictional character from an interactive play which has been touring around all schools in Bolsover district. The drama tackles issues such as behaviour, attitude to learning, peer pressure and job interviews, with the aim of highlighting to Year 11 students how making the right choice, at the right time, can help them to achieve their goals.

Project manager Clare Talati explains, “The students watched how Joe handled a number of different situations and could see where he was going wrong. We than replayed each scene, but with the students in the director’s chair. They helped ‘Joe’ to realise that making different choices can have a huge impact on his future career prospects.”

“It was a fun and engaging way of tackling some important issues, whilst highlighting the key role Connexions and other support organisations can play in helping young people to get where they want to be,” added Clare.

The drama was performed by Impact Universal Ltd, and workshops supported the performance allowing the young people to explore the themes of the drama in greater depth. 15-year-old Nathan England from Tibshelf Community School said, “It helped me think about planning what I wanted to do after school and showed me that I could achieve what I wanted in life.”

 

Welding helps Tom forge a better future!

Tom Lowe
Six months ago, 17-year-old Tom Lowe was at a crossroads in his life. He was on a training programme he didn’t enjoy and he wasn’t attending regularly.

“I wasn’t enjoying my course and couldn’t motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning so I just sat at home playing on my X-Box,” explains Tom. 

Tom made the decision to leave his training programme and it was at this point that John Ryan, project worker for the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project got involved.

Raising Aspirations offers specialised and dedicated support to young people — in particular, those that have really lost their way or have problems related to drugs and alcohol, have left care or are homeless.  John explains, “The young people I work with often require a high level of support and in Tom’s case his lack of attendance was affecting his behaviour and attitude. He needed to realise that he wasn’t going to succeed in learning until this improved and he used his spare time more constructively.” 

To help develop a regular routine of getting out of the house, Tom started to meet up with John on a weekly basis to talk about how he was getting on.  This gave him the encouragement to try new things such as learning the guitar, skateboarding and even allowed him to make some new friends – all of which put the spring back in his step, even first thing in a morning!

Tom said, “I knew I had to make some changes to my life and thanks to John I felt better about myself.  He set me goals, which made me feel like I could achieve something.”

With a more settled personal life, Tom started to think about the future and was keen to look at welding as a potential career. With support from John and a Connexions Personal Adviser, Tom got an interview with NLT Training Services who were running an NVQ Level 1 Fabrication and Welding course.

After a successful interview, Tom was offered a place on the programme. He said, “I am really enjoying it here and if I go on to get my qualification, it will hopefully lead to an Apprenticeship in welding, which I’d be really proud of!”

 

Ground breaking parents event at Shirebrook School

Forget parents evenings of yesteryear, on Wednesday 28 April, Shirebrook School was host to an inspirational Gala evening with an innovative take on traditional careers events.

The Raising Aspirations in Bolsover Project joined forces with Shirebrook School along with careers and training providers, to hold this successful event aimed at increasing parent’s and carer’s confidence when supporting their children to make decisions about their futures. There was a buzz of anticipation in the hall as parents and carers of year 9 students learnt what their children could achieve, with the many opportunities which are open to tomorrow’s generation.

Parents, carers and their children were treated to a high class sit down buffet, showcasing the culinary and hosting skills of young people training in the catering and hospitality industry at Chesterfield College.

Charismatic 90s HOW2? TV presenter, Gareth Jones, inspired parents and young people alike with a motivational presentation, captivating all with what young people can do if they really try and ‘aim for the stars’ - whether it be following traditional or alternative career paths – with a bit of his practical science thrown in.

Parents and young people then queued up to learn more from expert providers including Connexions, West Nottinghamshire College and Aim Higher, exploring all the opportunities available including Apprenticeships, training and helping hands on work experience.

Lyndsey Ward, Assistant Head and a year 9 tutor said; “We want our young people to achieve the very best that they can in life. Tonight was all about encouraging parents, carers and our young people to set their sights as high as possible, providing them with all the information, advice and guidance they need to make a really informed choice about their future.”

Parents found the evening very instructive; “This wasn’t what I expected from a careers evening, it was far more relaxed and informative, my daughter even texted me at lunchtime to tell me not to forget that we were coming along!” said Jayne Jackson, mother of Helena aged 13.

Clare Talati, Raising Aspirations Project manager, added “Feedback from parents who attended the evening has reiterated that they now have an increased level of confidence around giving support to their child, along with greater understanding about who they can seek advice from to do this.”

 

'Ethan' makes giant leaps

 Ethan
Often overlooked, the most vulnerable young people in our community can get help and support to ensure that they have a future full of hope and opportunity…as Ethan’s (not his real name) aged 16, story shows.

Young care leaver, Ethan, who has been living in the Bolsover area, began working with Caroline Conway, project worker at Action for Children which supports care leavers and young people who are homeless. Ethan told Caroline that he was having issues with alcohol and would like some advice and information about drinking, as he recognised that it was becoming a problem.  Caroline used her link with John Ryan, Substance Misuse Project Worker through Raising Aspirations, to access the dedicated support which he could offer regarding Ethan’s alcohol and drug issues. Caroline felt that John’s knowledge and expertise in this area would really benefit Ethan.  To make Ethan feel as comfortable as possible, at their first meeting John and Caroline arranged a joint visit. John was able to utilise the trust that Caroline had already built up with Ethan, meaning that he was more open and honest and receptive to the support which John provided when talking about the issues that he was having.

John worked with Ethan, showing him how to change his attitude and help towards being more responsible for his actions when drinking. Within only two meetings Ethan was fully engaged with the help that John offered - and has continued to be so.  With John’s continued support, Ethan has been able to reduce his alcohol intake enabling him to move forward with his longer term plans.

‘It may seem like small steps when you hear Ethan’s story, but to him, and people in his situation, the progress that he has made shows giant leaps of faith. Now, with the continued support, advice and guidance of dedicated advisers, he is in the position to use this information, and his newly gained self confidence, to make a positive choice for his future.’  Ethan is now getting training in a variety of areas so that he can keep his avenues for different areas of employment open - Ethan is also receiving guidance from a Connexions Personal Adviser to look at further positive options which are available to him.

 

Opportunities aplenty for Shirebrook's young peopleYoung people at Shirebrook Opportunities event

Shirebrook Village Hall was the venue recently for 24 young people from Shirebrook, all hoping to find out about the wide range of training, Apprenticeship and job related job opportunities open to them locally.

Fun job-related activities, such as manicures, hand massages and music mixing were also the order of the day, giving young people the chance to ‘have a go’ and get inspired about their career

Chesterfield College, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, and West Nottinghamshire College together with Connexions Derbyshire Personal Advisers were amongst the host of organisations offering careers information, advice and guidance on the day.                                                                                

Sarah Hayes, 18 from Shirebrook said “I’ve been out of work for 6 months; I’ve come along with my mum, who’s been a great support, to find out about childcare Apprenticeships. I’ve found today really helpful”.

Leigh-Anne Edel Alvey, 16 also from Shirebrook, said “I’m doing Health and Social care at West Nottinghamshire College and wanted to find out about BTEC Science at Chesterfield College as I’d like to go into nursing and this course would really help”. 

“We were delighted with the response and interest from young people; talking to all the organisations who attended, feedback was very positive with nine young people attending taster courses at West Nottinghamshire College, two young people have gained interviews for apprenticeships and two young people are looking to start an E2E course in Mansfield.

We’re going to be running lots more events across the District and would encourage any local businesses, training providers and of course, young people, to get in touch and find out more” Clare Talati, Raising Aspirations project manager added.

 

Client J receives a helping hand

A Raising Aspirations project worker first met Client J when she was staying in temporary accommodation. She was bored and needed to engage in something positive.

Learning in a school environment hadn’t worked for Client J — she needed a different approach. Client J, along with her Action for Children project worker and the Raising Aspirations project worker, met to discuss the practical ways in which the ‘Raising Aspirations’ project could support her individual needs including employment, education or training options.

Fortunately, a course designed around confidence building and self esteem offered by the Prince’s Trust, was just about to start in the Bolsover district, close to where Client J was living. She attended an interview and successfully secured a place, although the Raising Aspirations project worker was on hand to provide support if needed.

The start date for her course coincided with an offer being made to Client J for ‘move on’ accommodation - two major challenges for her to face at the same time. With support from the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project she handled both very well.

Whilst Client J was away on a key week’s residential programme, her project worker kept in touch with her to see how it was going, so that when other people on the course were receiving phone calls from their family, Client J wouldn’t feel alone. Client J was seen regularly whilst on the course so that any problems could be resolved promptly, this support helped sustain her progress on the course.

Client J was one of six young people to complete the Prince’s Trust 13 week intensive team programme. The Raising Aspirations project worker also attended the leaving presentation, visibly supporting her client’s achievements, following the entire process through with her.

Client J now volunteers with the Trust, with her project worker’s continued support, which will hopefully lead to paid employment. She has become more confident and focused, attending an interview and test with the Army.

Client J also had careers advice from Connexions Derbyshire which helped to identify her skills and look at her career options. Once Client J is established in employment, work with her via the Raising Aspirations in Bolsover project will be complete; she will then be referred on to the most appropriate support to fulfil her needs.

Finally, the Christmas period could have been especially difficult for Client J with no family around her, again the project worker made sure that extra contact and support was made at this time helping her to feel connected and preventing any further emotional issues from developing.

Committed to providing a high level of support, the Raising Aspirations project enabled a positive relationship to develop between the project worker and client, providing someone to listen to and give support enabling the client to have the confidence to take the next step forward.

 

Bolsover's 'Raising Aspirations' project helps young people raise the roof... and walls!Young person on construction site

Raising Aspirations is enabling young people to get practical experience in construction; from roofing to brick laying.

The Introduction to Construction course is being held at the Groundwork site in Clowne, with part delivery at their site in South Normanton and is designed to provide more opportunities for young people within the area.

The programme was designed and commissioned in response to local needs and requests for a course with an overview of the construction industry, whilst offering a relevant qualification.

The 12 week course started on 14 January 2010, offering 12 hours of learning a week across two days and is aimed at 16-18 year olds who are not in any kind of employment, education or training. The young people attending have shown real commitment to the course, all achieving full attendance so far and feedback from their tutors has been very positive.

Connexions Derbyshire Personal Advisors refer young people to the course as part of their role as the main delivery agent for the Raising Aspirations project.

Personal Advisor, David Shephard from Connexions explains, “I provide a two-way, accessible link to the course for the young people. I help to make them aware of the course, helping them on to it, supporting them whilst they’re there and, when they’ve completed the course, I work with the young person to see how they can progress further and take advantage of the opportunities which are available to them. Their full attendance on the course is a testament to how much they enjoy learning these practical skills.”

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