This year, National Youth Work Week is celebrating the Champions of Youth Work – both the fantastic Youth Workers and the young people who inspire Youth Workers to do great work.
Young people who received awards were nominated by their Youth Workers and Personal Adviser for demonstrating determination, resilience, compassion, confidence and motivation.
Many have shown real persistence in working on their skills and knowledge in order to overcome their own personal barriers.
Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Teresa Heritage, said: “This year, young people have had so much to contend with, and I am proud of all of those young people who have shown remarkable resilience and determination to be the very best they can in such difficult circumstances.
“I would like to congratulate all the young people who have shown perseverance this year and have worked with our Youth Workers and Personal Advisers to develop the skills and confidence they need as they move towards adulthood.”
Some of those nominated for an award include:
Alfie, aged 16 from Welwyn Hatfield:
Alfie was awarded for his sheer hard work and resilience over the past year. He has successfully completed the Services for Young People Pathways to Success programme and made some positive choices about what he wants to achieve in the future. With the support of his Employment and Training Adviser, Alfie has shown determination to overcome several personal challenges through which he has regained his confidence, acquired key employability skills, and made several new friends along the way. Alfie’s transformation over such a short period of time is remarkable and this has now left Alfie with a different kind of challenge – too many job offers on the table!
Anna, aged 15, from St Albans:
Always keen to try new things that take her outside her comfort zone, Anna has been working really well within the Girls Allowed Project and Friday Night Project. She also recently attended the Services for Young People HAPpy summer programme where she grew in confidence and engaged really well with the other young people.
Lloyd, aged 16, from Watford:
Lloyd took part in Services for Young People’s Move IT and HAPpy projects where he began participating in sports. This has enabled him to gain skills and confidence in made friends, learning and enjoying teamwork and new cooking skills.
Lily, aged 18, from Watford:
This young person has shown absolute resilience managing her schoolwork even while spending a considerable amount of time in hospital. Having to shield for long periods of time during the lock down and the pandemic, hasn’t slowed her down though. She has managed to keep her spirits up, teaching herself to play the guitar and staying in contact with friends and school.
Joshua, 16, Hitchin:
Joshua has overcome anxiety and issues that effected his wellbeing. Working with Services for Young People, he acted on suggestions made to him about apprenticeships and college courses. He showed great perseverance in contacting employers and he secured work experience. He now has an apprenticeship and a place at college. Through hard work and commitment Joshua has achieved amazing outcomes.
Joshua said: “I feel that I’ve accomplished something in my life on my own and very proud of building and planning my future career."
Ella, 16, Letchworth:
Ella struggled in Year 10 with her wellbeing, and this affected her attendance at school. She persevered through this and managed to attend a work experience placement at a salon. Her ability and commitment were clear immediately and she so impressed the salon that she was offered a Saturday job. This in turn led to an apprenticeship where she is going from strength to strength. Her confidence, self-esteem have grown enormously.
Ella said: “I was so surprised that I got this award. Thank you so much for the team supporting my apprenticeship. It was so lovely. I feel extremely proud of myself.”
Juan, aged 18, from Hemel Hempstead:
Juan has been attending the Independent Living Skills programme for the past year, even making a positive contribution during lockdown. Since reopening after lockdown Juan has been active within the session and encouraged their peers to become healthier. They have a passion for cooking healthy fresh food and are very involved in planning the cooking module and encouraging their peers to get involved. They share their knowledge and skills with their peers for them to broaden their outlook on a healthy lifestyle and steer them away from potential risky behaviour. This young person is a great asset to the project and attends other projects throughout the week with the same enthusiasm.
Alfie, aged 14, from Stevenage:
Alfie has demonstrated excellent engagement in the sessions that are part of the Reach Out Programme. Alfie has overcome adversity and grown in confidence and self-esteem. Alfie has an improved awareness now of personal safety, enhanced resilience and has the skills and knowledge needed for the future.
Harrison, aged 17 from East Herts:
Harrison was described by his Youth Worker as a role model for his peers. He has worked hard taking part in Services for Young People’s NHS Cadets programme, learning new skills and taking on responsibility for leading part of the programme. He has proved himself to be a natural leader. While taking his GCSEs, Harrison also worked hard to complete an excellent NHS Cadet portfolio, writing letters to sick young people and also completing several badges on the iDEA website, an international award-winning programme that helps young people develop and demonstrate their digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.
Harrison said: “I really enjoyed being a part of the NHS cadets programme. I found it fascinating to learn lots of different aspects of how the NHS and wider healthcare works. It has allowed to improve and learn skills that will help me going forward in life. From doing the course it has cemented in my mind how I would like to pursue a career in medicine for the NHS. Not only this but the leadership and communication skills that I have picked up along the way has really helped me moving forward into 6th form. I would thoroughly recommend this course to everyone as it allowed me to both develop my skills and my interests.”
Isobel, aged 17, from Hemel Hempstead:
Isobel joined the St Albans and Dacorum Pathways to Success programme to gain support in getting a job. Isobel attended all of the sessions, engaged and worked well. The programme not only improved her employability skills but also helped her self-confidence to grow. Isobel was successful in securing a job and has been a valuable member of the group. We are proud of what she has achieved and her attitude while attending the programme.
Cameron, aged 16, from Ware:
Cameron has been part of the group of young people who have worked together throughout the last year on planning a new skatepark in Ware. Liaising with Ware Town Council, through his Youth Worker, he was part of a small group of young people who consulted with others, planned, organised, and helped fundraise to give support to the process of the new skatepark. Cameron has been a valuable member of the planning group and is a credit to himself and his community.