Jacque's placement at Youth Connect Southwest has continued to develop and he tells us what his experience has been like since his last post.
Since my last written entry, I have been able to successfully execute the projects previously mentioned and progress onto new exciting events and programmes at Youth Connect South West.
Towards the end of December, both Christmas events were carried out and were successful with our goals of the charities level of outreach to the community, alongside raising awareness of the charity and the services it provides to reach even more individuals that may need our help.
The first event, I’d helped manage and setup, the Christmas pop-up chalet in bath city centre. From 8am to 10pm, Youth Connect sold various items, all related to the charities services to raise money and awareness for the continuation of them. Items such as upcycled Christmas decorations by the young people that engage with Youth Connects service ‘Learning 4 Work’ and ‘Partnership for learning’, were on display with their story to members of the public, Christmas cards with young people’s photo submissions and more. All this alongside banners and posters of Youth Connects services led to a very successful day with almost all our items sold and members of the community engaged with in such a busy area of bath, especially around the time of year.
The Christmas fair I’d organised at southside was a great success too, a bouncy castle I’d arranged to be donated to us for a day’s use for the children of the community free of charge, Santa’s grotto too with donations arranged from local shops were sourced on foot enquiring shop to shop, for treat packs to be given to each child that sat on Santa’s lap! Alongside various activities free to engage with, such as badge making, face painting, music and selling discounted second-hand items. The event was a success, throughout the day open from 10am till 4:30pm, members of the community engaged heavily with what we had to offer.
Juggling these two projects with their deadlines being days apart and a short time to get them started was a challenge that gave me great experience in managing projects and executing them from start to finish, which allowed me to practice and improve my skills in this area.
From there, the focus of my role shifted from immediate events to long term programmes to target the need for certain demographic groups within the community, such as Toddlers and their parents / carers and older people. For these demographics, I’ve been learning through the process of what it takes to get such groups going; the health & safety side, risk assessments, research of the groups needs and other organisations that may work for this need locally.
These groups are now ready to launch after easter, with the lack of volunteers being the charities main issue slowing this launch. The Toddler group ‘Tots Connect’, has had its first pop up session and attracted a large number of parents and carers from the community.
For easter, I also curated a series of events for each day of easter week for the families children that were on school holidays. These involved music, easter egg hunts, easter bonnet making, and a variety or easter themed arts & crafts. This too gained a lot of positive feedback from the members of the community who came along and enjoyed it. Alongside a series of events leading up the queen’s platinum jubilee with other members of the community coming up shortly but currently in development.
Such a variety of projects has broadened my knowledge and ability in catering for different demographics and time frames in executing one off events and long term reoccurring programme groups.
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