October 09, 2017|
At Foundation our core mission is to create ‘inclusive communities where everyone matters’. Through our work we seek to engage our customers in opportunities for building a sense of social inclusion. Often this work is around mental and physical health, changing behaviours, taking responsibility and learning practical skills for keeping home and employment. Yet for inclusion to be something that is sustainable for each individual, some of our work must include opportunities for our customers to experience inclusion as something far more personal and aspirational. Sharing time with others, taking comfort and inspiration from simple things and having the chance to be creative are things that build into a sense of well-being that can carry people through difficult times. Across Foundation, customers are relishing these activities that form essential part of the foundations for a positive future.
Springboard is a service based in York, providing support for young people leaving care, helping them to build the skills and networks for a positive future. Throughout the summer the Springboard team and their customers enjoyed numerous activities based around building aspirations and social inclusion. These included activities as simple as a dog walk in the beautiful location of Benningbrough Hall; fruit picking and jam making and a day of workshops at the Wild Harvest School of Self-Reliance – learning to make natural toiletries.
Across the activities the young people reported a growing sense of ease with one another as they began to feel more comfortable in social situations, more relaxed and much less anxious. The day at Wild Harvest was a particular highlight. Volunteer Peer Mentor* Sarah, who works with a Springboard customer and joined us for this event said; ‘I had the most amazing day, in the most beautiful, calming surroundings, making lovely natural products with the very engaging Di. It was great to meet more of the Springboard customers.’
Di Hammill, who ran the workshops, said of the Springboard group; ‘ I thought your staff and young people were amazing. The staff were so encouraging them but not carrying the young people, being gentle yet having expectations’. Springboard customers have commented that after a summer of aspirational, social activities they now feel more comfortable meeting and speaking with new people. This is a great start for the group who will take this new found confidence into activities that focus on educational and employment opportunities.
Durham customers have been discussing communication skills. Alongside some familiar activities such as group discussions, questionnaires and quizzes, they also chose to enjoy a wildlife walk, taking in the awe inspiring Durham cathedral and other historical points of interest on the way. A variety of flora and fauna were identified along with wildlife such as Swans, squirrels and ducks. During the walk participants helped to take photographs which will be framed for the Durham office. In addition another customer helped research some local history and read it out to the group. We sat by the river and took turns in reading quiz questions on general knowledge. A rewarding and relaxing way to enjoy communicating in a group and sharing interests and creative activities.
North Yorkshire Young People’s Pathway
Customers on the NYYPP has been using art and writing as a way of expressing their feelings from entering the pathway to now. This has beena really positive exercise and promoted a great deal of discussion around change and future goals.
*To find out more about Volunteering and Peer Mentoring opportunities at Foundation visit our volunteering page.
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