What have we been focussing on so far this year? Read on to find out more...
In January to March we were busy developing and delivering activities from our base in the Next Steps Centre at Oak street after that we had lockdown
The team has been brilliant over the past three months adapting to a new situation and supporting our participants. Providing online support and coaching and delivering lots of activities through Facebook
We have had 3 new members of staff start this year and I would like to introduce you to them. If we talk through their roles I think they are a good way to explain what we have been focussing on, how we have adapted to this new reality and how we will innovate as we emerge from it into a new world
Steven joined us officially in January but had been working with us on a sessional basis delivering cooking sessions
He works on Function Skill Qualifications which are really important for young people to get into college courses, apprenticeships and employment. We were about to have our first participants start taking their tests as lockdown started! Functional skills has continued as material is online, so we have been able to continue working with individuals on this.
Steven has also created lots of amazing videos showing participants how to cook healthy and interesting meals – pork cassoulet and banoffee pie
He then went one step further and started offering ingredient parcels to participants so that they could cook the meals for themselves. These have proved really popular with participants posting photos of the finished products.
Claudia was interviewed just before lockdown and was due to start just as lockdown began. She in fact started just after Easter. Her role is as an On Track Coach with a specialism for Mental Health. The majority of our young people come with mental health issues we are not a mental health service but we do need to be able to work with these young people. Claudia has a lot of experience and knowledge and had two aspects to her role, to support the most complex cases and also to provide support and guidance to the coaches about their participants mental health.
This is a very important aspect and as we come out of lockdown her role will be very important.
Charlene started last month in her role is On Track Team manager. It’s a new role and helps us focus on on Track delivery. Open Youth Trust as youth services manager. The employment situation will be very different as we come out of lockdown both in terms of the number of jobs available, the types of jobs on offer and the young person that get referred to us may also be different. We may get those that have recently been made redundant. Rather than just those that who are very far from employment. We have to adapt to this new situation and offer new packages of support suitable for different times and needs.
Charlene will be leading on this new approach I think those three new colleagues represent much of what we are doing to develop On Track ready for the a new world ahead...
Rachel Chapman, Partnership and Project Manager at The Matthew Project: On Track
If you would like to find out more about our On Track service, please visit our website here
On Track has received funding from the National Lottery through the Community Fund and the European Social Fund