2020 ESF case study: YouthActionNI - GET SET for Work 7

YouthAction NI’s GET SET for Work programme is a regional youth employability programme for young people aged 16 to 24 years who are outside of training, employment and education. Operating across all of YouthAction NI’s regional bases GET SET works in partnership with business, communities and young people to develop their skills for living, learning and work so that they can progress into employment or into further education and training.

GET SET is part financed through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Personal development

This participant is a young woman from a small rural community. The participant had joined a GET SET young women’s personal development programme which had been set up with YouthAction’s local partner MACS NI, an organisation which offers housing support to young people. The participant’s support worker in MACS felt the GET SET young women’s group would really benefit her as she needed to build her confidence and make new friends.

The participant had been in a long-term abusive relationship that left her feeling isolated, lonely and very mixed up. She had very little trust in anyone and had lost all her friends as a result of the relationship. The weekly group work sessions gave purpose and routine to her life and being connected with other young women, supporting each other, and having space to share their stories really helped her to form a positive friendship circle and to feel less alone.

Building confidence and motivation

She became very involved in the group, taking part in outdoor team activities, LIFEMAPS well-being activities and training, achieving her First Aid qualification (LIFEMAPS is a toolkit to help build positive mental health in young people. It has been developed by YouthAction NI and uses a youth work approach to building youth mental health). This helped build up her confidence and motivated her to think about and plan her future.

She said:

“GET SET helped me see there is a ‘warrior in everyone’. I realised this when I met all the other young women from the group.”

Getting back into education

The participant wanted to get back into education. She really liked working with young children and had previously started a childcare course but left it as her boyfriend at the time did not like her attending the course or doing anything without him. The participant feared she would not get back onto the course, but with support and encouragement from her GET SET worker and the other young women in the group, she took the brave step of applying again for the Level 2 Childcare course at her local Further Education college. She was so delighted when she got accepted.

One year on, the participant is still in education and having successfully completed her Level 2, she is now completing the next level in Childcare. She hopes to go on to university.

She said:

“The GET SET young women’s group was a real turning point in my life.  It gave me back my confidence and a belief in myself. I would highly recommend GET SET to any young woman who is struggling.”

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