At TRAIN the young people we know and work with are the most important part of the charity.
One of the ways we recognise this is giving them responsibility and leadership within some of the projects that we run.
Currently we have six junior leaders who we are supporting in their development and they help to run our junior football project which takes place once a week.
Their roles within this football session include, setting up equipment, collecting the admission charge and looking after the young people who attend. In addition they attend termly meetings which enable them to learn what is required of them as junior leaders. They receive debriefing after each session and are treated in the same way as our adult volunteers. We believe that this approach gives them valuable skills for the working environment they will face in the near future. Their time and effort is acknowledged in our annual Celebration event by awarding them a certificate of merit.
Our junior leaders are young people who have been personally helped and supported by TRAIN and are now volunteering to help the next generation of young people.
They are involved in our annual residential weekend during which each junior leader is allocated a role which means they have to assume responsibility for a specific aspect of the programme. This is another way of developing their team working and leadership skills. The creation of junior leaders has taken place over the last 5 years and one previous junior leader recently said of her experience:
"I'm very excited to being the step closer to becoming a nurse and who would have thought it lol, I defiantly didn't think it would be me about 4 years ago lol, which I really want to say a big thanks to u guys at train because if it wasn't for u guys showing me and helping me find the right direction in life I really don't think I would be where I am today."
TRAIN is in contact with 350 young people in an average year and we believe in the importance of them having a voice about how TRAIN should run, and that their opinions are valued and respected. TRAIN's model of youth work reflects this emphasis as we take the initiative to go out and meet young people where they are, regardless of whether that is on the streets, in local parks or in the schools at lunchtimes.
By meeting young people on "their patch" it means that our emphasis of" what can we do for you"? Is genuine because we have intentionally sought them out and not just expected them to come to us. Through discussion and relationship building the young people choose what alternative activities and projects we offer them.
Our young people are asked to evaluate each activity that we run and we aim to undertake an annual evaluation which measures how effective TRAIN has been in helping them, and as a result we are more able to target our support for them. These results are used to formulate the forward direction of the charity and the quality of the work our youth workers bring to the young people they support.