A better tomorrow for Cumbria’s young people

8th November 2022

Reece first started volunteering with CandoFM Community Radio in Barrow when he was just 14 years old. He found school challenging; he felt he didn’t fit in, struggled with anxiety and his academic progress suffered. His motivation to succeed was lacking due to undiagnosed dyslexia.

Leaving school with just three GCSE’s, Reece worked exceptionally hard at college to gain his Maths and English. He was offered work experience at CandoFM and really found his spark. Reece needed a beacon of light to guide his path and finding his love of radio with CandoFM did just that.

Once Reece found his passion for radio, it really motivated him to achieve. He set his sights on university, and with the help and encouragement of the CandoFM team, he was offered a place at Salford University’s MediaCity campus after achieving a Distinction* in an Extended Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media. The radio station helped Reece expand his horizons and achieve something he never thought possible: becoming the first from his family to not only go to university but leave with a First-Class Honours Degree.

The community radio station received a grant through the Better Tomorrows Fund to engage with young people through its newly developed youth radio programme and now employs Reece as a Youth Outreach Worker.

Being a Youth Outreach Worker is a role that Reece has really made his own. He has a good rapport with young people. He knows how hard school was for him and wants to help his students succeed.
Reece is now able to combine Youth Work training with his radio expertise in what is, for him, a ‘dream job’.

The Better Tomorrows Fund has now raised more than £1.25 million and is still open to donations.

Find out more here.

Spearheaded by David Beeby, High Sheriff of Cumbria in 2021/22 and Cumbria Community Foundation Chairman, the Better Tomorrows Fund encourages more people into the youth work sector by providing accredited training and funding salaries of youth workers to improve access to services for young people across the county.

Cumbria Youth Alliance is managing the accredited youth work training to increase the number of qualified youth workers across the county, ensuring more young people become confident, resilient and optimistic for the future.

David Beeby said: High-quality youth work has a crucial role to play helping many young people to achieve their full potential. Through participation in youth work, young people gain confidence and competence, develop self-assurance, and have the opportunity to establish high expectations and aspirations for themselves.