This month has been all about participation: From those being brave at The Junction’s first rock music night, or breaking through the ice at The Caldecotte Xperience, or learning vital lifesaving street first aid to those running like the wind in preparation for the marathon.
We say thank you to Harry (17) Ronnie (17), Jacob (13) and Ario (13) pictured above from Chiltern Way Academy for taking the time to share their reflections on participating in our outdoor education in Milton Keynes. The Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ school has been using outdoor education to complement the school offer with a focus on life skills and employability.
Head of PE, Mr Cristofoli, explains “it is a great vehicle for supporting self-esteem, communication and teamwork. It’s more than having fun, it’s the challenge and range of skills that are developing”.
The boys couldn’t decide on their favourite activity, but all agree it’s about facing your fears, perseverance, building relationships and dedication. Head boy Harry sums it up by “it’s about finding the strengths within”. Their advice to those trying the centre for the first time is – “do the activity you fear the most, that’s what you will get the most out of.”
We are thrilled that on the 23rd of February our Board of Trustees approved plans to make our The Caldecotte Xperience even better. Keep an eye out for more news coming soon.
Young people are making our streets safer!
Our streets can be safer places if there’s a young person around trained by Action4Youth’s Street First Aid supremo Paul Dyne. With 30 years’ experience as an RAF medic, Paul leads A4Y’s team, training young people across Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire to save lives and reduce the impacts of injuries. His scenario-based training is part of The Breakout Programme, a unique and hard hitting anti-knife and gang crime course.
“It’s about giving confidence and basic knowledge to handle situations they could easily find themselves in – a gang incident in a park that leads to a knife wound, someone bleeding from a fall on glass, a leg wound from a failed jump over a barbed wire fence, someone collapsing in front of them or a drug overdose.”
Paul teaches young people to improvise when a first aid kit isn’t available. T-shirts become bandages; a zip hoodie makes a sling; a branch, a splint. Young people respond positively and add to sessions. “A lot have been in situations where they just didn’t know what to do, and they share those experiences with the group.”
Paul, also Deputy Centre Manager at The Junction in High Wycombe, wants to equip as many young people as possible to deliver Street First Aid.
“We want to offer this course to the many youth clubs Action4Youth works with, as a membership deal. By training youth workers in the youth clubs to spread the message as wide as possible, together with our young people we can keep more people safe from incidents and accidents.”
Barrister to champion Action4Youth!
A criminal barrister who has seen first-hand how young people given second or third chances can turn their lives around, has joined Action4Youth as our newest ambassador.
Irfan Arif’s legal work brings him into contact with people often at the lowest point in their lives. He knows the impact on young people of lacking good role models or mentors. Having successfully navigated some of challenges many young people face today, from food poverty, resettlement, and changing cultures, he brings this insight to add to his professional expertise.
Born in Pakistan, into a family for whom public service is second nature, Irfan’s father became the Imam at Chesham when Irfan was young. He was awarded the MBE in 2019 for services to the Muslim Community in Britain. In turn, Irfan and his siblings whilst each progressing in their professions, have chosen to give back through community service in different ways.
Recognising the value of mentors and role models in his own family and life, Irfan is keen to actively support and encourage young people to find fulfilling pathways in their lives. As a former school governor and trustee for Buckinghamshire Learning Trust, he is building on that work as an ambassador for Action4Youth.
Action4Youth CEO Jenifer Cameron believes young people will benefit significantly from Irfan joining us:
“Irfan is an accomplished advocate and we are delighted he will be an advocate for young people and the essential work we do, particularly in education. Our ambassadors are role models, enabling young people with whom we work to see people like themselves working for their benefit.”
Joshua joined Action4Youth as a sixth-form student with an interest in rock climbing and began his journey shadowing an outdoor education instructor. He later participated in the apprenticeship scheme, safe in the knowledge he would earn a wage and develop his personal skills at the same time.
Josh developed over the year taking more responsibility and supporting visitors to The Caldecotte Xperience, helping young people from as young as 3 right up to 18. Josh recalls it was tough at times and not being confident at the start, but by the end he was in and out of the lake like a fish.
‘Canoeing was a bit of a struggle and can be for most people, getting the technique and shape in the water is what I love to teach.’
As well as getting paid to play on some seriously cool equipment, one of the best parts of the day is feedback from the young people and leaders.
‘Teachers always come up to me and say thank you, saying things like I don’t know how you managed to get them to listen’, It’s great to hear I’m doing my job well.’
Joshua has just passed his apprenticeship, ‘it’s an absolute relief’ he says. We are thrilled to have supported his inspirational journey and delighted to have offered him a Junior Instructor position. Josh’s aspiration is to keep following this path and teach more young people like himself. For now, he is busy celebrating and looking forward to a busy 2023!
Rock steady at The Junction High Wycombe!
If you were tuned into our socials this month you will have seen a whole range of events and activities going on at The Junction in High Wycombe. This month young people have been brushing up on their rhythm, vocals and instrumental skills. Rock Steady was definitely a hit. We hope to bring another session to The Junction very soon!
The inspiring Action4Youth runners at MK Marathon 2023!
We are incredibly proud of our marathon runners who are going the extra (26!) mile to make a difference to young people’s lives. There are still a few final places left to join our team gearing up for the MK marathon weekend in April.
Contact [email protected] to register your interest.
The multi-award-winning Milton Keynes Marathon is hugely popular, flat courses through beautiful lakes, parks and surrounding villages of Milton Keynes. Supporters abound to cheer you on, and with a race village at Campbell Park with a finish line festival – it’s perfect place for family and friends to join you to celebrate your achievement. Conquer the 5k, 10K, the Half Marathon, full marathon or even earn a third MK Challenge medal!
Look out for news of our runners progress on our social media. First off the blocks is Kathryn Hobbs pictured above training, who is well known to Action4youth and PA to the Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. Fitting training in with a busy family life will be challenging. We will be following Kathryn’s training plans closely and have a cheer squad on the day.