On Tuesday 30 January 2018, WASP, Youth Action Wiltshire & Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (DKHT) launched a new Get on Track programme for Wiltshire.
Get on Track is the flagship programme of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which trains and develops world class athletes to empower young people facing disadvantage. This enables them to take control of their own futures and contribute positively within their local communities.
This community-based personal, social and emotional development programme will start on Tuesday 13 February 2018 and finish on Saturday 12 May. The sessions – run over a 12-week period – will help young people to develop the attitudes and behaviours needed to make long-term positive life choices.
41 people attended the Get on TRack launch, comprising of young people and their parents/carers. They heard all about the programme from Craig Figes - DKHT Lead Mentor, London 2012 Water polo Captain and Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist.
The young people will experience a taster session on Tuesday 6 February to find out more about the programme and what’s involved.
Week 1: On Your Marks!
A group of young people facing disadvantage across Wiltshire will be mentored by world class athletes, as part of a transformational programme led by the charity of Double Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes.
On Your Marks is the beginning of Get On Track where young people explore a series of personal, and social development activities that aims to stretch comfort zones, and achieve learning outcomes that establishes a platform for young people to continue to build from.
On Your Marks explores the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust 5 key attitudes of focus, resilience, motivation, confidence, and determination in an environment that is supportive of young person needs and barriers.
Young people will develop their communication and leadership skills by engaging in reflective learning opportunities through this period of Get On Track. By the end of On Your Marks young people should feel motivated and engaged to continue with the rest of the Get On Track programme.
Celebrating Success: Go Event
On Wednesday 23rd May, we held our Go celebration event at West Lavington Village Hall. The evening showcased the incredible work the young people have achieved over the past 5 weeks.
With over 40 in attendance including the Blagrave Trust, sole funders for the programme, Ben Hilton, CEO for DKHT, Zoe Rucker, founder of the May Mile, WASP Board Members the young people and their families and the Youth Action Wiltshire team that supported delivery of the DKHT Get on Track programme, the event was a huge success.
The event entailed networking and refreshments on arrival, followed by a welcome speech by our very own Steve Neale, a thank you speech from Cleo Evans who helped delivered on the programme, a well done speech from Tessa Hibbert at Blagrave Trust followed by a presentation from DKHT Athletes, David Hill & Rich Parker. They explained the ethos behind Get on Track and gave a description of the type of activities we got involved in over the past 5 weeks.
The young people were invited on stage to collect an impressive number of certificates from qualifications they had completed over the past 5 weeks, this included; Safeguarding, Food Hygiene, Sports Leaders Level 1, First Aid, Community Organisers, and a thank you for volunteering at the May Mile.
Whilst volunteering at the May Mile, the young people choose to raise funds for Julia’s House and was pleased to hand over a cheque of just over £300 to the Children’s Hospice Charity.
It was then over to the young people themselves to explain what they had enjoyed most and learnt from completing the course.
We as a team are so pleased and proud to say that every single young person succeeded and what a massive achievement it was for them all. Well done.
The programme doesn’t end here though, we have already received several support and work placement opportunities for the young people from local businesses and organisations.
We also have Keep in Touch days where we meet as a group to continue supporting and encouraging these young people on their life journey’s.
Case study. Wiltshire. Amber
Before the programme Amber was doing A-level Art and spending a lot of time at home, but wanted to get out more, but wasn’t confident speaking with people and didn’t like trying new things. Amber said she was unsure where she was heading in the future.
Regarding sport, Amber always liked sport and said “It makes me happy and gives me a reason to not be bored at home”. Before the programme Amber was swimming twice per week for the town club and also attended trampoline once a week recreationally. Since starting G.O.T. Amber has increased the amount of sport she does, she has started swimming an extra two times a week and also found the confidence to join a new club which meets once a week to do mixed sport sessions and is really enjoying it.
When asked about her experience with the athletes Amber said “The athletes helped make me feel more confident”. Amber said the athletes have made the course more fun and said that she found the athlete stories really interesting.
About the course as a whole: “Definitely good, it’s brought out the best of me that I didn’t know I had” “I have grown in confidence and it’s given me more friends”
When asked about what she had learned on the programme she said she had gained skills through the CV construction session and that the mock interviews had taught her a lot. Amber had never had an interview before so said it felt good now knowing what to expect.
Amber’s favourite part of the programme was going away on the residential as it was a different and new experience, she really enjoyed trying new activities there especially the snowboarding. Amber said she wouldn’t change anything about the programme.
“It’s been really good and it’s made me more confident and better at talking to people”
Amber would like to continue to volunteer as a community champion through engagement with Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP) to help her achieve her goal of becoming a swimming and sports coach.
Case study. Wiltshire. Connor
Before the programme Connor said his life was quite boring, he didn’t have much going on and he was unsure about his future. He loved sport though and went boxing twice a week, he also regularly played football with his friends. Since starting the programme Connor has become more dedicated to fitness and now also goes jogging every night.
Connor said about the athlete involvement that it made the programme more fun and active. He said that the athletes helped him to improve his confidence with meeting and talking to new people. This improvement is something that Dave Hill and Rich Parker have definitely seen and noticed in Connor.
Before starting the programme Connor said he didn’t expect it to be any good, but he is really enjoying it and is enjoying learning new things and the variety that the programme is offering. Connor said it has made him much more confident to talk out loud in group situations and to speak with new people and feels that is a direct result of being on the programme.
Since being on G.O.T. Connor says other than confidence he has also learned more about job interviews. Having never attended an interview before, Connor found the mock interview really helpful.
Connor feels the most beneficial part of the programme for him was the OYM phase as it got him used to others and confident with the group. He would have liked there to be more sport involved in the programme and found some of the external delivery from the people who came in to talk about CV skills quite boring.
Connor now has found a career pathway that he wants to pursue following on from his successful participation with the DKHT programme.
Summing up the programme Connor said, “It’s been helpful for me to learn new stuff, it has pushed me to talk to new people and improve at that”.
Connor would like to become an outward-bound instructor for PGL and will be supported onto Youth Action Wiltshires (YAW) Building Bridges project, now that he has developed the confidence needed to gain the qualifications required to achieve his goal.
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