London South East Colleges’ latest cohort of students from the Prince’s Trust Team programme (Team 19) has begun an ambitious makeover project to give one of London’s oldest youth centres a much-needed makeover this month.
The Downham Youth Centre and Boxing Club, based in Bromley, enlisted the help of the team earlier in the year and pitched for the work that includes the spring cleaning and clearing of its main hall, a new design and paintwork of the walls and a revamp of its garden and playground areas.
Victoria Fairman is the Youth Centre Manager. She says: “I was thrilled when I discovered that our pitch had been successful. The entire team of students arrived just a couple of weeks later having raised £255 to buy paint, cleaning materials, tools and decorations.
“They have made a great start and already completed the outside work. Thankfully, the weather has remained dry, if not freezing cold, but that didn’t deter the team in the slightest. I can’t wait to see the hall when it’s all finished.”
Prince’s Trust Team student, Abby, 16 from Farnborough, is using her time constructively on the 12-week project to make new friends, engage in lots of physical work and learn new practical and team leading skills before she enrols on the Business Level 3 Diploma course beginning in September 2018 at the College’s Orpington Campus.
Abby says: “After leaving school last September, I started the sixth form at my school in Sittingbourne, Kent. After just a month, I had to move house and there weren’t any sixth form places left at any local schools. This left me at a loose end.
“A relative told me about the Prince’s Trust Team programme beginning in January and I jumped at the chance to do something to keep me concentrated on my career goals. One day, I would like to qualify as an accountant.
“The programme is halfway through and I have got so much out of it. My confidence to speak up, take a lead role and make things happen has certainly come on leaps and bounds in the last six weeks. I was always so shy and quiet. Now, no one can shut me up.”
Team Leader, Jane Myles helped the students devise a scheme of work that entailed a fund-raising mission to produce cakes, handmade crafts and a tombola and sell them to staff and students throughout the College.
Jane says: “This is the part of the programme where we tend to see a real spark in the students. The fundraising and planning, the logistics and the graft really grip them and gives them a sense of responsibility. They each have a stake in the project and they want to do a great job and feel proud. I’m proud of them already and looking forward to helping them unveil the new look youth centre in two weeks’ time.”
If you are between the ages of 16 and 18, and not sure about the career direction you would like to travel in, come and talk to us now. We run three exciting 12-week programmes each year to help you develop your confidence, social and team-building skills and improve your prospects for further training or employment. Come along to one of our open events.