A Message from Jenifer Cameron
Charities need support. We need help from volunteers, expertise and of course, we need money. We live in extraordinarily uncertain times; having just emerged from the pandemic and now with war in Europe and soaring prices. It is difficult to plan effectively while this level of uncertainty prevails and we all know the old adage: nobody plans to fail but we fail if we fail to plan. In these testing times we all rely on our friends, those we can turn to for help and I am so grateful to the very many companies and charitable organisations which are generous enough to be our partners. We always need more help as we work to meet the complex needs of young people in our area.
With the support of funders, Action4Youth has grown in reach in recent years, providing more support, developing new programmes and reaching ever more young people across an ever increasing area. We need to keep pushing forward so the support of our funders and ambassadors is crucial and enormously appreciated. Their belief in what we do gives us confidence and their commitment to the wellbeing and positive development of young people is admirable. Over the summer The Gosling Foundation, The Shanley Foundation, Paradigm Housing, Red Kite Community Housing, National Lottery Community Foundation, Swire Family Trust, MyMilton Keynes, Centre MK, Stoke Park, Rectory Foundation, East West Rail, NHBC, The Asda Foundation, John Lewis, Alexander & Co and many more have pledged their support. They are committing to the young people of our community and, working with Action4Youth, making a positive difference. If you or your organisation would like to work with us, please get in touch on 0300 0032334.
The Junction – High Wycombe
July has seen the finish of the school year and the start of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF). The first week included activities such as street dance (courtesy of Castle Street Dance Studio), pool tournament, boot camp, board games and many other activities. Back by popular demand was the “Spud Man” and his amazing samosas, which went down a real treat!
BBC 4’s Any Question @ The Junction
It was a real honour to have hosted a show as iconic & long-standing as Radio 4’s Any Question. The panel comprised such well-known political figures as Thangam Debbonaire MP, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, David Gauke & Ash Sarkar. Ben Wright, BBC News political correspondent, presented.
Visits to the Junction in July were slightly down on the previous month with 650 visits. This is mainly due to the lovely weather and the young people preferring to be outside.
As August speeds upon us we look forward to the beginning of our Ukrainian Refugee Youth Club (Mondays 2pm – 4pm) and continuing with our HAF programme. Keep an eye out for the new activities we have lined up for next month!
The Junction Summer Fayre – Sponsored by John Lewis
Thank you to everyone who came to The Junction’s Open Day / Summer Fayre on Saturday! And special thanks to John Lewis & Partners / John Lewis High Wycombe for funding.
Counselling @ The Junction
5 life-changing benefits of counselling:
- Discover new perspectives
A counselling session is a safe space to talk with a professional therapist. Sometimes simply saying a thought out loud brings a huge sense of relief. You might start to look at challenges differently through open discussions and exploring new ideas.
- Build communication skills
Individuals who experience counselling become more able to express their feelings, which can also improve personal relationships.
- Build your self-esteem
Sharing your fears and exploring solutions could give a real confidence boost. The simple act of talking builds self-esteem and you find new ways of coping in the future.
- Become a more resilient person
Counselling therapy can be stressful, specifically if you’re discussing a painful time or event in your life. With each session, you’ll make progress and become stronger. You might find it becomes easier to express your thoughts and feelings.
- Make change happen
With counselling, you’re in control of your own destiny. Your counsellor will never tell you what to do or steer you down a certain path. They’ll listen and encourage you to investigate ideas and make your own choices. The pace of progress is up to you. Even the smallest of changes is a positive step.
The Inspiration Programme
We have had an excellent year for The Inspiration Programme. We have reached 145 young people from year 8 to year 13, across seven groups, in six schools. It has been a pleasure working with all the young people, the schools, employers, speakers, and trip providers for the programme. We continue to engage with innovative and exciting people, all willing to share their time and journey to the benefit of the young people. I have seen huge growth in teamworking, communication and confidence of the young people with excellent feedback.
We use outcome star to measure the young people’s journey measuring their aspiration, contribution, confidence, learning, people and support, as well as their communication. It is measured and agreed with the young person at the beginning and end of the programme.
This year has seen growth in all areas – 83% in their aspiration, 74% in contribution, 78% in confidence, 60% in learning, 56% in people and support and 80% in communication.
As it is August and our programme planning for next year in well underway with some new schools onboard for both our existing full delivery model of the programme as well as our NEW self-delivery model.
NCS Summer 2022 – Residentials are back!
We are now well over halfway through our summer of NCS programmes, with huge success and enjoyment reported on our finished programmes. This year the programme spans across two weeks, with the first week held at Action4Youth’s activity centre, The Caldecotte Xperience. The NCS young people and staff have been lucky to stay in the TCX Tent Village, and take part in amazing sessions such as kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, climbing, epic challenge and team dynamics. The teams have shown us their creative side during the bin bag fashion show, and their cooking skills within the ‘Food for Thought’ session, making and cooking their own pizza in the outdoor pizza ovens.
Alongside these activities, we have also had sessions with Olympic athletes, a taste of being an entrepreneur during ‘Enterprise Challenge’ and time to reflect in political and mental health sessions. The young people have then had a break over the weekend, before launching into week 2, which takes place in their local community each day. They research, plan and organise how they will fundraise, volunteer and raise awareness for their local charity. Once they have finalised their plans, they go up against the Lions’ in the Lair, where they present and bid for up to £40 to kick-start their fundraising efforts!
The NCS Team are glad to have had an amazing group of hard-working young people so far and look forward to the last couple of waves raising much-needed funds for their communities. We look forward to celebrating their achievements at our Big Night Out and NCS celebration evening in September. Well done to all!
Six young people in Aylesbury and Winslow finished their mentoring at the end of the summer term. They each had a range of 10-15 sessions, all working towards their own individual goals.
All 6 of the young people achieved 100% in at least 2 areas of the outcome star, which is used to track their progress. The areas that made the most improvement for the young people were confidence and communication. Each young person who completed the mentoring engaged well during the sessions and put the effort in to try and improve either their social, emotional, or physical wellbeing.
Lily* was in an unhealthy relationship when I first met her for mentoring. Throughout our sessions we completed work on setting boundaries, what a healthy relationship looks like and improving self-esteem. Lily took on board advice given and commented on how her confidence significantly improved. At the end of the mentoring, she decided to go on a break with her boyfriend so she could concentrate on herself over the summer, focusing on things she enjoys.
*Name changed for safeguarding reasons.
The Caldecotte Xperience
The Caldecotte Xperience had the pleasure of welcoming Network Rail for a volunteering day last Friday. The team members arrived armed with paint, rollers, and brushes to help paint the toilet blocks. Huge thanks to you all for helping to freshen up our facilities!
We are delighted that local hero, Naomi Riches MBE, Paralympian gold medallist, will be inspiring the hundreds of young people and their families who will be filling the Waterside Theatre in September at our invitation only Big Night Out. The event is generously sponsored by NHBC, centreMK, Alexander&Co, The Rectory Foundation, Stoke Park and John Lewis.
Thanks to our new supporters of The Junction
We are delighted to report that The Junction youth centre continues to attract financial support from a range of donors, with the latest generous support from the Gosling Foundation, National Lottery Awards for All, the Swire Charitable Trust and the Shanly Foundation. The Junction is funded entirely from charitable donations and we are very grateful to all our existing supporters. If you wish to find out how you can help us to continue our valuable work, please contact 0300 003 2334.
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Your support is much appreciated!