13th July 2015
South Workington Youth Partnership (SWYP) provide quality youth and community activities; including a learning disability project. The charity is run by people who live in the area and understand the needs of the community. South Workington is traditionally an area of indices of deprivation and poverty and young people have unfair stereotyping because of where they live.
Lead Youth Worker, Angela Good told us of one boy they had helped: “We have a young person who attends our learning disability social club and he is has downs syndrome coupled with a serious congenital heart condition.
“When he first started to attend the social club he was painfully shy and we couldn’t understand what he was doing with his meal he bought during the social club. After very carefully monitoring him we soon discovered he was hiding the food and eating it in the toilets; his shyness so to such an extent that he would not eat in front of anybody.
“At first we allowed him to eat in the kitchen with nobody watching, and slowly we started to chat to him while he ate, then turned and talked to him. Finally after a few months we invited him to eat at the table with the leader before anyone else got their food so everyone else was busy with other activities and the table was quiet.
“This may seem not to be a big deal but this young person now has expressed an interest to become a volunteer for the learning disability project as well as a member. He wants to help with the kitchen by setting up the dining table and clearing up afterwards. He can’t read or write very well but we have helped him fill in a volunteer application form and he is soon to receive full volunteer status, which we will celebrate.
“To see someone progress from the shy, nervous and timid young person to this confident young man is truly heart-warming and makes us realise how important this project is. His friends have told us he will eat with them when he attends other activities and how he never did before.”
To find out more about the funding available from our grant making funds such as the Solway Fund and the NMP Community Fund visit our grants page or contact our grants team by email or on 01900 825760.