20th February 2018
Wigton Youth Station has provided a much needed and valued safe space for the towns’ young people for 20 years. With more than 85 members in total, the charity runs activities and provides a social space for young people between the ages of 11 and 25, encouraging their aspirations and supporting their transition into adulthood through informal learning. Additionally the findings from local police statistics have shown the project has been key to a measurable reduction in anti-social behaviour in the town over this time.
Centre Manager, Angela Bicknell requested a grant to support the year long training course for a support worker, she said: “Having a vocational qualification gives the staff a professional confidence to look at new ways to engage with young people. It is of value to the whole staff team as it helps them strive towards best practice as they gain new skills and experience. It is also important to demonstrate to the parents of young people,local businesses and funders our commitment to the highest level of professionalism.”
Cumbria Housing Partners awarded a grant of £975 for newly appointed youth worker, Yvette Pepper to undertake a Youth Work Practice Diploma. Yvette left school at 13 with no qualifications and understands how difficult it is for young people to overcome the setbacks and hold on to their aspirations. She said: “Sometimes the educational or emotional difficulties young people face can be hidden from school and from the people who care for them. If you are not succeeding and don’t fit in you can fall through the net; it can be harder to hold onto or achieve your dreams.”
Yvette’s journey demonstrates how early adversity doesn’t have to limit expectations. She went on to gain a business qualification before moving into support work where she applies her experiences to encourage young people facing complex life situations. “Teaching life skills so young people support themselves as an independent adults can be just as important as traditional education. The Youth Station provides informal learning opportunities in a safe space which help build confidence. Many of our projects are linked to current issues in their lives; helping them to recognise issues causing them worry and build emotional resilience to overcome stressful situations.”
Yvette said: “I am over the moon that Cumbria Housing Partners has given me the opportunity to study. As a single parent the distance learning course enables me to combine work and study.” Yvette is determined to be the best example she can be to her own daughter and the young people she works with. Once this course is completed she intends to go on to study a masters degree in youth work.
Lesley Dixon, Cumbria Housing Partners Director said: “We are delighted to be able to fund training for Wigton Youth Station support worker, Yvette and we wish her every success with her studies. Encouraging the aspirations of local residents and upskilling those to who work in our communities is at the heart of what we do.”
Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Many charities often face a skills gap as, unfortunately, there is limited or no funding to upskill staff or volunteers. By providing a training grant, Cumbria Housing Partners have demonstrated a commitment to personal development of local residents, as well as capacity building of Wigton Youth Station, which will ultimately benefit the youngsters who attend.”
To find out more about the Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, click here.