2020 ESF case study: Include Youth - Give and Take

Give and Take, delivered by Include Youth, aims to improve the employability skills and self-esteem of young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), who face complex barriers to engagement, and who come from communities of greatest disadvantage. This programme assists young people in progressing into education, employment and/or training.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Trying to progress to higher education

This participant was first referred to Give and Take when he was turned down for a place on a Performing Arts course in the local college as he didn’t meet the requirements of five GCSEs. He really needed his Essential Skills and other qualifications to progress to higher education. In his initial time on the programme he didn’t achieve enough to get into his first choice course, so went to Plan B, and started a Health and Social Care course with a local training agency. Unfortunately, this did not work out and the participant returned to Give and Take.

Gaining qualifications and confidence

During his time on Give and Take, the participant achieved a variety of qualifications including ICT, Application of Number, Communication, Employability Award - Team Work, First Aid, Food Hygiene, Progression to Employment, Manual Handling and Health and Safety. He really grew in confidence and was given the support and opportunity to develop his singing and song writing by working with local artists and producing a number of fantastic songs.

The participant was heavily involved in the EBE (expert by experience) work for Give and Take, attending a couple of activity days. He is currently completing a Youth Leadership award and supporting other young people on Give and Take. He was successful in securing full time employment and is really thriving in his job where he has been promoted within the organisation.

A second chance

The participant said,

“My time in Give and Take was a wonderful experience. I started off with no education whatsoever. Having failed multiple GCSEs at school I felt like an absolute failure. Give and Take taught me that learning can also be a wonderful experience. In my two years in the programme I started my music career, got my Maths and English and started full time employment.”

“I also met three wonderful staff members that educated me, but most important showed that they cared. There’s no Give and Take without them, they really show their passion for work even when it gets hard, they always do their best and I can really appreciate that. I wish everyone I worked with lots of happiness and I want to thank Give and Take for giving me a second chance at life.”

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