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Barnardo's Children Services Manager, Christina Saunders-Wingfield, talks to us about her organisation and the benefits of receiving a grant for education and training from the Charitable Trust.
Barnardo's protect and support the UK's most vulnerable children and young people. We help bring out the best in them – no matter who they are or what they have been through.
We believe that with the right support, young people can transform their lives. Our Employment Training and Skills (ETS) courses provide young people with skills and qualifications they can develop and build on throughout their working life. We work in partnership with employers, schools, colleges and charities to train and support over 3,000 young people every year through 15 specialist services. We provide courses, support and careers advice.
Funding from B&CE’s Charitable Trust has enabled Barnardo’s ETS-North to launch and run a new construction multi-skills programme. We see new learners joining us every week, including young people who have been NEET (not in education, employment or training) or at greater risk of becoming NEET.
This funding has also helped us get our new purpose-built workshop up and running, and we’ve been able to purchase a range of new tools and equipment for our learners – ranging from a dustless sander and extraction unit to a cement mixer and tool bags. The learners are all delighted to be able to use and practise with them and they especially love the new cement mixer and tile cutters. These are trade quality tools reflecting the standard of equipment used in the construction industry. The first 15 learners have been equipped with their own tool boxes to support them on their course – thanks in part to the Charitable Trust’s grant.
The grant from the B&CE’s Charitable Trust has also enabled us to free up more of our own voluntary funds to support with the recruitment of a much-needed Youth Engagement Officer. We’re also successfully developing our network of local and national employers so that young people have more opportunities to use their new skills in a real working environment.
Employers we work with have been very impressed with the new ETS-North resources, and many have taken on some of the young people as apprentices and trainees, or on placement with them.
Tom is 18 years old. He signed up to the new multi-skills programme to get valuable hands-on experience in a range of trades from painting and decorating, tiling, plastering to bricklaying and basic plumbing. This was great for him because he really wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.
The programme has helped Tom grow in confidence and identify his interest in and aptitude for painting and decorating.
Graham, an ETS-North Supervisor, saw such a remarkable transformation in Tom that he invited an employer to come in and meet him to discuss his career progression.
Tom’s progressed on to a traineeship with Jonathon Anthony at New Look Interiors who comments: “Out of all the work experience and placement learners – Tom is the best I have had and we are over the moon to have him.”
Tom is happy he’s finally found something he enjoys doing. This would not have been possible without the support of B&CE’s Charitable Trust. Helping us to deliver a range of multi-skills trades to young people, with up to date equipment, has given Tom, and other learners like him, the opportunity to make informed career choices and the means to make it a reality.
The young people accessing the multi-skills room and new resources are having a great time. We have had some fantastic painters and an array of building and tiling activities. These activities would not have been possible without your support.
Interview with: Christina Saunders-Wingfield, Children Services Manager for Barnardo’s.