Young people were the centre of attention at the South Wight Area Youth (SWAY) celebration at Isle of Wight Pearl last month as they graduated from their Young Leaders course.
Supporters of the charity gathered to enjoy a night of recognising achievement by highlighting the young people’s commitment and understanding of the opportunities that being part of a community can bring.
10 young people were awarded certificates and hoodies in front of approximately 60 supporters, volunteers and the youth workers team led by Project Leader, Andy Dorning. The audience heard about the modules that the young people had undertaken, such as volunteering, self-esteem and communication.
The aim of the course is to encourage and empower youth by providing leadership training that will promote and enhance the quality of life for themselves, their families and the communities. The course is over 7 months and includes 3 residential weekends at Medina Valley Centre and helps to demonstrate that young people have the capacity to become leaders, if given the opportunity to take that lead at an early age are more likely to develop and use those skills and opportunities. They are more inclined towards positive social action and see the benefits of giving something back to their local community as well as feeling good about themselves.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Fund (HiWCF) part funded the evening at which the young graduates received a certificate and a Young Leaders hoodie to applause from SWAY trustees and supporters gathered at the Isle of Wight Pearl on Saturday 18th May. The evening included a 2-course meal with tea and coffee followed by ceilidh that accommodated the liveliest of dance moves called by the band Slainte Va.
Other of the year’s achievements included 12 families being able to either receive support directly or being linked to other agencies, 50 young people enjoying a camping weekend, 80 young people accessing local youth work and activities, 39 booked on for holiday activities and 17 for residential weeks both on and off island.
The tremendous work is led by Andy Dorning with other members of the team: Jennie Burke, Youth and Families worker; assistant Youth Worker Andy Evans plus gap year students Grace Long and Ellie Hodgeson.
Chairman Peter Johnson said:
“It is great that the young people get acknowledged and valued for their achievements by our supporters as well as us and everyone enjoys themselves in a fun evening”.
SWAY took this opportunity to tell everyone that they are hoping to re-open the Café at Chale before the summer holidays. This venture would have a twofold aim, to offer opportunities for work experience together with an income stream for the charity. Anyone wanting to be involved or would like to know more about the work of SWAY should contact www.southwightyouth.org.