June 07, 2017|
Our Activities Worker’s in our North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway have a very unique and important role in working with young people. Always mindful of the Pathway outcomes and using their professional experience of social inclusion work to build programs, they work to empower customers through many different activities; domestic, social, physical and practical. They work to build working relationships with customers so that they can co-produce the programs, knowing that this will build skills and motivation. So much of work around social inclusion is about raising aspirations, inspiring and motivating.
Here one of the Activities workers shares how his customers have developed a love for the great outdoors and how this has led to them taking the reins and building on their experiences to open further opportunities:
Customers in Craven and Harrogate had expressed an interest in getting out in the great outdoors, we discussed the health benefits of getting out and also the opportunities it may bring. Contact was made with Yorkshire Dales Millennium trust and a meeting arranged to discuss opportunities for the young people that Foundation are working with. Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust Green Futures mission is to bring environmental engagement opportunities for up to 4,000 young people aged 11-24 in the Yorkshire dales and surrounding area for the next four years.
“Green Futures aims to empower and support the ambitious and capable young people of Yorkshire and Lancashire to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.”
Staff, volunteers and students from Craven and Harrogate were involved with the planning of the session, Jayne and Melvin secured free use of a Mini bus and driver from Happy Wanderers, Ruth and Foundation staff on the Pathway encouraged young people to attend the day out. The night before the trip, James a customer from Skipton spent some time preparing the packed lunches for the day out.
An early start
So the day eventually arrived, customers woke up early to catch the transport at 08:30hrs, despite the early morning the customers were up and raring to go. We arrived at Malham Tarn Field centre just after 10:30hrs, the Field centre is located 15 Miles out of Skipton, and boasts amazing views of the Dales and Malham Tarn.
The group were introduced to the field centre by Sarah Deane the group leader for the day. The first task involved orientation of the venue and the grounds, this was done with some basic navigation and orienteering. Customers split into small groups and set off to find the point’s on the map. It was a great first exercise as it gave everyone a chance to burn some energy off after the journey.
Lunch around the fire
After lunch the group were introduced to the Fire Pit, we discussed what is needed to make a fire and the health and safety involved. Sarah demonstrated to the group how to make a camp fire using a striker and flint, cotton wool and dry twigs. The customers and staff then all had an opportunity to build their own fires. Once the fires were roaring and producing sufficient heat, the customers got a chance to make hot chocolate on the fire using a Kelly Kettle.
The next task involved customers getting creative, they were giving the opportunity to make a small clay models and also make something using pewter.
All the customers and staff that attended had a really good day out, we have another day booked in for the end of June. The staff and customers gave great feedback:
“I found the bush craft activity a very inventive way of facilitating service user engagement. With it being an outdoor activity and completing tasks in groups, I thought it was a fantastic way of teaching young people about group work and in particular, group dynamics, and learning to trust, rely and work with other people towards a common objective. It was overall, a very awesome day out!”
“The day out at Malham was very interactive and customer friendly. The Bushcraft activity meant that customers and staff had the opportunity to team build and everyone did this successfully. Overall it was a fun day out for customers and allowed everyone to engage with others and build trust and networks with people they had not worked with before. This activity was definitely beneficial and I would recommend that more days out and activities like this happen on a regular basis to enable customers and also staff to experience new things.”
“It was a really enjoyable event, I learnt a lot, got me thinking about self-teach and to embrace the natural surroundings. I would recommend this day out.”
“It was a good day, I enjoyed building the fire and making the pewter moulds. I enjoyed being out in the fresh air, I would like to do more outdoor activities with Foundation. Great Day.”
Following the success of this outing with the Millennium Trust, customers on the Pathway asked for further opportunities to get involved in the great outdoors.
It was decided that we would run a weekly walking group. Myself and some customers looked at local places of interest that could be accessible to all customers, we looked at location, terrain and walking distance. Customers were involved in the planning of the walking group and contributed to the Work Activity Risk Assessment.
The first group walk was on Friday 19th May, we visited Malham Cove to try and spot the Peregrine Falcon. A fantastic day out and all customers enjoyed the walk.
The second walk was to Brimham Rocks, this is somewhere that none of the customers had previously visited, they enjoyed taking in the surroundings and the natural rock formations.
The weekly walking group has many benefits for the young people in supported accommodation, increased physical activity, benefits for health and wellbeing, supporting and encouraging each other, positive use of free time and broadening horizons. We plan to walk every week during the summer and get involved more in the local community.
“The day out to Malham was a fun day out and also very beneficial for customers. It gave them the chance to see parts of the countryside and also promoted exercise, health and wellbeing and a good opportunity to see Malham cove. Customers thoroughly enjoyed the activity, stopping to take pictures and enjoying the scenery. I think days out like this should be planned for the futures as customers get a fun day out but it also helps them keep fit and active.”
Mehrose, Social Work Student
“This was a great idea Graeme, thank you for bringing us here it’s amazing.” Customer
From the pictures it’s plain to see that the work Graeme and the young people are doing together is really positive.
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