I am sitting here on a Wednesday morning; working on the end of year report for the Belong project at Carefree Cornwall. We work with young people (11 – 25 years) who are in and leaving care.
Amazing things have happened since January 2018, when I started my role as Volunteer Co-ordinator. Carefree have shown me how youth work can help young people connect with others by forming positive relationships, enabling young people to learn vital skills in helping themselves but also helping others.
Initially when I started the role I saw so many barriers due to the geography of Cornwall and the difficulties of public transport but young people have taught me that with the right support, consistency and encouragement young people can overcome these barriers with great success. I have witnessed young people who at the beginning of the project found using public transport difficult who are now able to use it confidently and regularly. Young people who have completed their training in January 2018 are now achieving so much, meeting new people in work and college, advocating for other charities and community events and hosting events for other young people in and leaving care.
My last blog was contemplating how social and personal objectives can continue through the volunteering project ‘Belong’ in tackling loneliness for young people who have left care. I was unsure of how young people would be able to attend social events in a rural area with limited public transport. How could I measure the impact of this? How would I work with young people to become volunteers to support other young people with similar early life history?
Nearly a year into the project I am understanding how this can be achieved and how resilient young people are overcoming the issues they are faced with.