March 30, 2017|
Although the service has been up and running for a number of months, the Harrogate Progress Group hosted an official ‘launch event’ on Thursday 23rd March. Here is the story of the event and the service:
Foundation launch the North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway.
On Thursday, 23rd March 2017, Progress Group in Harrogate hosted a North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway (NYYPP) launch, with North Yorkshire County Council. The Progress Group is initiated by Foundation Harrogate team and runs as part of the wider NYYPP service offering young people the support, opportunities, advice and mediation to enable them to stay in their present accommodation. Foundation also provide accommodation where this is not possible.
The Harrogate Progress group runs as a ‘drop-in’ every Thursday and attracts up to 35 attendees every week, of both Foundation customers and other vulnerable young people who may need support. The NYYPP Activities Workers and Support Workers engage attendees in fundamental and innovative activities, such as IT skills, First Aid, craft workshops and cooking clubs, which aim to build skills for positive and independent futures. They provide essential support for the young people attending, dealing with emotional and practical concerns. Foundation work with partners to ensure that the drop-in provides essential opportunities for customers to engage in other services where they can gain skills and enjoy positive experiences.
Partners at the launch event included Advanced Personnel Management (APM – an organization providing apprenticeships and employability training), Harrogate College, Lifeline, the Leaving Care Team and representatives from North Yorkshire’s Children’s Services. Other partner’s that regularly work with the service and attend the Progress Group are Princes Trust, SASH, Harrogate Homeless Project, Probation, Richmond Fellowship, Millennium Trust, St. John’s Ambulance and NHS.
Helen Donald of APM said she has signed up two customers to apprenticeships by attending the Progress Drop-in for the past few weeks. Helen said she enjoyed working with Foundation as they share the same, ‘understanding of the barriers to employment as well as a ‘can do’ approach to supporting their customers’. Mandy Buckle of the Leaving Care team explained how the drop-in provides a safe space for engagement with her clients, one of whom had come to the Progress Group to do home-work with the assistance and support of her support workers. Mandy said, ‘what Foundation have provided here is a place where we can gain consultation with our clients in a safe environment. It also allows us to extend our own professional networks’. Mandy will be meeting with Helen from APM at a later date to help open opportunities for more young people across North Yorkshire.
As well as the usual range of activities available at the drop-in, the launch event included a meal cooked by customers and volunteers, to be enjoyed by all present. Jayne Millar, Support Worker from Foundation explained why this part of the weekly group was essential to building engagement with young people. ‘For many of our young people, they have no real sense of belonging. We can provide that here, by offering completely non-judgmental support and the sharing of a home cooked meal’. Maggie Jones, Foundation CEO, was also present at the event and said, ‘The Progress Group is just one innovation that the passionate NYYPP Foundation teams are introducing. Across the service, customers are also invited to take part in Peer Mentoring. This provides great opportunities for them, and also for us, as they help us to develop our service from their own experience.’
The value of this approach was witnessed at the launch, when a young Foundation customer arrived at the event in obvious personal distress. His immediate need for support was met, not only by Foundation Support staff, but also by one of the customer Peer Mentors who was present, a young man who also took the lead in the kitchen to provide the shared meal.
Foundation runs the NYYPP across North Yorkshire, with Progress Groups up and running in Harrogate, Scarborough, Selby and Richmond. To contact Foundation or any of the NYYPP teams, please visit the contact us page on this website.
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