[Press release by Helen Barnsley]
The end of July marked the successful culmination of Edventure’s latest Start Up: Inspire course and participants finished with a pizza evening to celebrate their achievements over the course. This fortnight-long course is part of a rolling programme for young adults on Jobseekers’ Allowance and has been developed in partnership with the Frome Jobcentre through the Jobcentre Plus Flexible Support Fund.
The course offers an opportunity for jobseekers to develop confidence and raise their self-esteem through practical team projects. It gives young adults an opportunity to explore their personal interests, highlighting the skills and capacities that can put them on a path to employability or developing personal projects. A key part of the process is the exploration of barriers to achieving aspirations. The course may help a young person identify where their passion lies and find ways of taking the initiative needed to make the next step.
Not only were recent participants able to celebrate their new skills and enhanced employability but they were also able to donate a hand-crafted bench to a local good cause, having taken part in an outdoor wood working project. Neil Oliver, Co-Director of Edventure, explains, “This tangible outcome is really important as it shows what you can do when you work as a team and tap into your creativity. The bench looks fantastic and it is just one of the many achievements to come out of the course. We really enjoy helping young people discover what they are good at and find a new direction”.
Having completed eleven sessions and an outdoor project, the final celebration event brought the jobseekers into contact with potential local employers and others from the local community.
Around 60 young jobseekers will complete a course of this kind with Edventure over the course of the next year, with six courses lined up for 2014 to 2015. Director Johannes Moeller says, “Unemployment has devastating effects on young people’s lives and the communities they live in, and the longer it lasts, the harder it is for young adults to cope in the world of work. It takes investment to prepare young adults to participate positively in work and their community”. Recent success stories include that of Brett Watts who was referred by the Jobcentre in Frome to Edventure’s course and who is now successfully employed by Edventure itself as a chef, doing a job he truly enjoys.
Kirsty, who completed the Start Up: Inspire course said: “I’ve gained confidence. I got to know the people in the group and was able to speak out more. This makes me feel more positive about the possibility of getting work”.
The Start Up: Inspire courses run by Edventure run alongside their Start Up scheme which offers a drop-in mentoring service on a Tuesday for young adults of 18 to 30 who wish to access workspace and training to start self-employment or business projects. Both ‘Start Up’ schemes run alongside Edventure’s core work which is the delivery of the successful Apprenticeship programme, giving a group of young adults a training in social entrepreneurship over a nine month period. For more information visit http://www.edventurefrome.org