Join the Active Inclusion Fund in celebrating some of the true success stories of Active Inclusion funded projects Europe Day 2017.
Europe Day held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity
in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in
1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his
idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would
make war between Europe's nations unthinkable. Aside from peace and
unity, on 9th May, we celebrated the impact of Europe a little
closer to home - our very own Active Inclusion Fund.
Over a year since the launch of the Active
Inclusion Fund we want to take some time to celebrate some
of the amazing achievements of the projects and participants which
the fund is in place to support. We also want to highlight some
exciting changes which the fund is going through which will make it
easier for even more people to access it.
The fund, which has been awarded to WCVA by the European Social
Fund through Welsh Government, is there to help people
from across Wales to release their potential through different
types of activities which can help improve their skills and move
them back towards employment.
We would like you to join us to look back, reflect on and
celebrate some of the true success stories of Active Inclusion
Chris and Volunteering Matters
Chris aged 21, from Torfaen had been unemployed since he left
education. His attendance at school was very limited due to
personal issues and he experienced heavy involvement from social
services and the care system with the family.
Following a custodial sentence and paired with regular drug use,
Chris was stuck in a cycle and believed his life was spiralling out
of control. He couldn't help but feel like he was being haunted by
past mistakes. This was until he became settled in a stable
relationship. Stability and insight gave Chris the impetus to
embark on a journey that would change his life for the good.
Chris joined the Active Inclusion funded Activ8 project
in December 2016. Building on his strengths, Chris felt he was a
practical person and wanted to get a trade experience. He engaged
enthusiastically on the project and through confidence building
sessions, meeting with his peers and undertaking activities like
C.V building and dyslexia assessment, he felt he took a great leap
in the right direction to improving his life. Chris found this
support invaluable as it helped to keep him busy and out of
trouble. Chris knows that he will have good and bad days ahead of
him but strongly believes that for the first time he feels really
positive about himself and for his future.
Chris was supported to achieve his CSCS card and is now in
employment. Activ8 has helped to build a sense of self-worth and
confidence. Chris remarked; 'I now see
that to keep trying and being positive helps me in my future plans.
It matters to me to change my life and through tailored support
from the project I can achieve this.'
Sophia and Swansea YMCA
Sophia joined Swansea YMCA as a
young carer. She had spent all of her child hood caring for both
her disabled mother and grandmother. Despite her difficulties
growing up whilst caring for family members, Sophia was determined
to make something of herself and help others who have experienced
similar situations. With the support of YMCA the Active Inclusion
Fund, Sophia is well on her way to achieving her goals!
Inspiringly, Sophia home schooled herself and has quite the
array of qualifications and achievements. However, keeping on top
of her education and caring responsibilities meant she didn't have
the same opportunities as other people her age to make friends,
socialise, bond with peers and develop social and emotional skills.
This ultimately had an effect on Sophia's mental health resulting
in social anxiety, depression and eating disorders.
In October 2016, Sophia joined the Y Engage Youth project and
began exercising and working on her diet, even gaining an
accredited qualification in 'Understanding the importance of a
balanced diet and regular exercise'. Her newfound interests gave
her the opportunity to experience new social circles including the
health and fitness staff at Swansea YMCA. With this under belt and
her mission to share her story with others to raise awareness of
children's and young people's mental health, in December 2016,
Sophia engaged on a new project (also funded by the Active
Inclusion Fund) and began a placement with the young carer's team
as a support worker. Through her determination and passion for
helping others, Sophia demonstrated that she was an invaluable
member of the team and was successful in securing continued
employment with Swansea YMCA.
Sophia's 8 month journey from being a young carer to a youth
worker is an inspirational one but her ambition doesn't stop there.
Thanks to the support of Swansea YMCA, European funding and her
sheer determination to help herself and others, she is now looking
at other courses and qualifications to broaden her horizons even
Really Pro's Bounceback project
We think it is really important for people to tell their own
stories so people can really see the difference being made to
people's lives across Wales. Please take some time today to watch
the inspirational story of Helen, Nick, Franco and Amanda
whose lives have drastically changed thanks to the intervention and
support of the Bounce Back project.
We want to help more people just like the ones highlighted here
today and to do that the fund is undergoing a few changes. This is
an exciting time for the fund as rounds will become more flexible,
organisations will be able to apply for larger projects and
boundaries will become less rigid meaning more organisations are
able to apply and help individuals improve their lives and truly
make a difference.
We cannot do this on our own and need organisations from across
Wales to get involved and help make a difference. We would love to
hear from any organisation who thinks they might want to get
involved and will provide as much support as we can to help you
help those who are most in need.
Please get in touch with us today to find out more about these
changes and how you can get involved - firstname.lastname@example.org