Last week we had our On Track End of Project Celebration Event. As a team, we have finally had chance to breath and take a moment to reflect back on the event. When we first started planning the event, we were hopeful we would get 30 to 40 people to turn up to celebrate with us. We ended up having 80 people attend on the day and this has over exceeded any expectations we could have ever had.
That is credit to the On Track team and the relationships built with young people and organisations in Norfolk.
The biggest well done and thank you goes to our participants who came to represent the 1018 NEET young people who have been supported by On Track since 2017. We are so proud of every young person who got up to share their personal journey with the project from where they were when they started On Track to where they are now. Lots of them reflected on how they felt they would never have been able to previously get up and speak in front of so many people. It was such a great achievement hearing your speeches and your answers within the Q&A. It was the highlight of everyone’s day. We were also so impressed with how well they all engaged with professionals on the tables and they really did themselves and the project proud.
A thank you to the professionals that attended and helped us to keep the event environment safe and relaxed to help reduce the anxieties young people had about being in a large group setting. Your continued support throughout the On Track project never goes unnoticed and helps us to ensure young people receive the support that meets their needs.
A thank you to the On Track team and partnership organisations for all of your speeches and support on the day. Hearing from different members in the team from our data lead to our coaches, highlighted how much each person with the team cares. It was an emotional day for the team as we were so proud of the success the young people have had, but emotional that the project is coming to an end.
We received this feedback that showcases how every member of the team is crucial in delivering On Track –
“How wonderful it was to witness the immense achievements of the On Track team, hearing from participants, coaches and partners at yesterday’s celebration event. Please pass on my thanks to everyone involved and an especial shout out to Miranda. The two colleagues from Norfolk County Council remarked that her enthusiasm and passion describing witnessing the journeys of young people, even though as data lead she doesn’t get to see them face to face, is a measure of the On Track culture of care and desire to support that characterises everyone who has been working on the programme. We all wish there was more funding but for now, important to celebrate what we have had and the differences you have made to so many lives."
On Track hasn’t yet been able to secure additional funding and we are set to close in March 2023. More funding is needed to continue this vital service as Norfolk is facing a NEET crisis, with significantly higher than average numbers of young people not in education, employment, or training (NEET). In 2022, an average of 3.9% of 16-18-year-olds in the county were defined as NEET, compared with 2.8% for the East of England and 2.6% for England as a whole. This puts Norfolk in the top 15% of counties for number of NEET young people, and the highest in the East of England.
We are thankful to the Building Better Opportunities for providing us with funding that has allowed us to support 1018 NEET 16 to 24 year olds in Norfolk. Without them this would have never been possible.
On Track is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.