The transformation of a group of young people who signed up to a Prince’s Trust Team programme run by The Bedford College Group was celebrated at a dedicated event earlier this summer.
The group who were unemployed, experienced anxiety or were failed by their school system, joined the 12-week course and rose to the various challenges that are incorporated into the programme that aims to improve people’s self-confidence, completing a number of tests. As a result, they are now signing up for full-time college courses, or seeking apprenticeships.
At a presentation for family and friends, employers and supporters, Bedford College Team 4 outlined their experiences:
One team member commented:
“I grew up in Spain but the school system made no allowances for my autism. Jobs are scarce in Spain and so I was glad to come to the UK and sign up to this course. It has really improved my life.”
“I left a course as I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I was persuaded to join the Prince’s Trust Team and it has been pretty cool. Having met the RAF at Chicksands I hope to join a Public Services course at Bedford College.”
Others said at the ceremony:
“I have been unemployed but want to work in IT so I am looking for work now. I wanted to have the Prince’s Trust on my CV but have improved my people skills so much that I feel more confident.”
“I didn’t want to join the Prince’s Trust Team but I have enjoyed every moment. The rest of the team weren’t people I would usually hang out with, but we worked together well. I am applying for apprenticeships now.”
“I wanted to gain confidence – just being able to stand up and speak to a room full of people is a massive move for me.”
The 12-week course included an introductory week followed by a team-building residential course in the Peak District with canoeing, abseiling, climbing, weaselling and more. The participations who had never undertaken anything of the sort were ALL encouraged to join in when they saw others taking “the plunge”.
Three weeks of fundraising paid for the teams community project at the E-spired School off Ampthill Road saw the squad clean and repair a safe space hut and prepare a football pitch for pupils.
Once completing the community project, the team then completed work placements with organisations working in marketing, construction, recruitment, education and a museum.
Week nine involved visiting Barclays in Northamptonshire where the professional staff have generously assisted Prince’s Trust young people in CV writing and interview techniques for several years.
Team challenges followed with the young people working with Living It Up, a performing arts charity for adults with learning disabilities. They took part in singing events and helping at the 30th anniversary Bedfordshire Games.
The final week involved a trip to RAF Chicksands to experience military training, talks with The Bedford College Group apprenticeships office and then preparing their presentations for the end of Team show.
Matt Tylesley, Team Leader said:
We would like to sincerely thank all the businesses and employers who help us with these Teams. Their input is vital in helping young people gain insights into what work really looks like.
Team 5 starts on September 30th and anyone wanting to learn more can contact Mark Williams on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Prince’s Trust office within The Bedford Learning Centre on the High Street, Bedford.