Archive for April, 2012
Last Friday bright and early we visited the Anderton Boat lift in Northwich. I had never even heard of Northwich before and whenever I saw it written I had always just assumed that it was Norwich. We were going over to work with some NEET young A
dults as part of the 24:24 Project, to make a short video diary film, go to a garden centre and to do some surveying of the Anderton Boat lift site for the rebranding of the company Waterways Trust.
The 3 volunteers involved in the 24:24 project were doing 24 hours a week of volunteering for 24 weeks to gain skills and experience in fields of work that they were interested in being employed or training in. They were James, Jacob and Sally and they were lovely. since being on the project they were all working toward NVQs which they seemed very positive about and wanting to move on to the next level and then into a job.
We went to the garden centre for lunch and to talk about what activity they wanted to do as a benchmark day on the project, something for team building, physical exercise or practical and something fun. After many different options layed out on the table we are planning a trip to go gorge walking which involves lots of water, rocks and jumping into water from the rocks.
We then had a walk around the garden
centre. The twins James and Jacob had to learn nearly 40 plant names as part of thier NVQ so it gave them a chance to do a bit of studying, plant names are really complecated and a lot of them sound very similar, there are lots of -ium and -us and -es and -ium. I also got the chance to talk to Sally who was working in the customer service, reception AND cafe. She seemed to be loving every second of it and later staff at the boat lift raved about her and her hard work and the twins and all they had been doing for the surrounding environment at the museum.
It was inspiring and also incredibly frustrating that they were doing such a great job for free, there was no moaning at all about their jobs and they were so positive about everything. It just goes to show, for many young people who aren’t in work, it isn’t because they’re lazy or don’t want to do anything and live for free. These guys were giving thier time and bags of energy to the jobs
they were doing, a lot of the time it is just about not being lucky in finding jobs or breaking out of the stigma placed on so many young people, why would an employer want to take a young adult into thier employ when they see them as being tarnished with the same brush: Idle, unenthusiastic, agressive etc and really for a lot of young people it’s hugely to do with confidence. The confidence to outline your credentials and highlight your good points, smile and not be nervous… it’s something that isn’t focused on enough in schools and education, confidence and communication to build contacts and experience.
This is why projects like 24:24 are so important. James, Jacob and Sally all suffered with confidence issues which were improving so quickly as a result of taking part in the programme, work wise they were completely above average it was just about self esteem.
It made me think really hard about how many of us as human beings can be crippled by a personal issue such as self confidence, not believing we’re good enough. So many people must feel like this every day and sometimes when finally you have the confidence to apply for that job or go for an interview and then you get knocked back, the confidence you’ve worked so hard for goes back to being low.
It’s Important to try and understand that sometimes people young and old aren’t in employment for many different reasons, not just because they’re lazy or unskilled, a lot of the time is the total opposite.
After making the film which was loads of fun we said our goodbyes and went home, expecting to meet again at the gorge adventure. This was a very eye opening day for me and it was a privalige to meet such hardworking people.