In September we were informed that we’d successfully secured funding from the second round of the Voluntary Sector Innovation Fund to expand our youth work and delivery. The success was down to our belief that delivering good quality youth work is an important place to start in improving our community and the local authority agreed. By working together with other organisations Brierley Hill Project aim to create a good standard of youth work within the Dudley Borough. We are working alongside organisations committed to providing youth work support to young people across Dudley; organisations looking to effectively train and equip the next generation of young people to support their peers.
The funding covers the cost of an accredited Youth Work course (Level 3 Certificate in Youth Work) which the other local organisations have been able to access to help up skill their volunteers and workers. Our desire was to pilot an apprenticeship in Youth Work at the Brierley Hill Project to link accredited training to practical work placements.
In October we appointed Eden into the apprenticeship role so she’s already completed her first three months with us. The Youth Work course has also started with a cohort of 12 students from various other organisations delivering youth work across the borough.
This is Eden’s first blog of what she’s been up to……
Throughout the first couple of months of working for The Brierley Hill Project, I have done many things on a day-to-day basis which I would not have thought. On a weekly basis, I do two days a week in the drop in centre helping out, either doing food bank vouchers, making drinks for people or even playing pool with anyone who wants to. This is probably my favourite thing of the week because there are some really nice people who come in.
Also, three evenings in the week I go out on detached with Jen where we walk around the streets of Pensnett, we find quite a lot of young people, 99% know of Jen already and we get to have some good conversations with them. In the first month of the apprenticeship and I had some really individual experiences like going to visit a prison with Stacey which was so unique as I would never have thought I would step foot into a wing of a prison. I went with Stacey to see a man who is getting out of prison soon and will need help adjusting to life again. This experience was very interesting and thanks to Stacey I felt very safe being in there.
Also, being young; I’ve only just left sixth form so I have no qualifications relating to youth work, so once a week I attend a college course for youth work. It’s good to develop my knowledge and skills. I have also been on a course with Tracey to learn more about modern day slavery which was eye-opening. There are more courses coming up which I will attend like drugs and alcohol awareness which will be good also. Throughout the week, I spend my time with a lot of people but the main person who I am with is Jen. Tracey and Stacey are the other members of the staff team and together with the volunteers it is a very cool team; the team is so small which makes it even nicer as a new person coming in. So, I would like to thank the project and everyone involved. I love my new job, and I am intrigued to see what is to come.
Here is Stacey with Eden and other members of the Wednesday drop in team. On Wednesday’s we have other young people volunteering their time to work in our community. Joseph and Agnes are from High Oak Youth as visiting European students. We are so lucky to have them all with us. They are truly wonderful.
So as we celebrate Christmas and look forward to 2020 we also want to say thank all of our volunteers who have served at the Brierley Hill Project over the last year. Young and a little older we are grateful for them all.