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Young people get their lives back on track

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 06/06/2013


More than 20 young people who were not previously in employment, education or training, came together for eight weeks to participate in CV workshops, work experience, team building activities and community projects during the second round of the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust ‘Get On Track’ programme.

Many young people on the programme also gained Community Sports Leadership Award (CSLA) qualifications, and several have already gone on to secure employment as a direct result of Get On Track.

The programme began with a three day team building workshop at UWE which aimed to inspire participants by placing them with an impressive line-up of athletes who act as mentors. In South Gloucestershire these included Beijing 2008 Paralympic swimmer Kate Grey from Tytherington, and triple jumper Vernon Samuels from Little Stoke, who competed in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

The second stage of the programme is a give back project which saw the young people undertaking sporting, school or community-based projects such as helping out with a mother and baby group in Yate, and a gardening task to improve access for a disabled family in Bradley Stoke.

Dame Kelly Holmes said: “These young people are on such an incredible journey. Our team of athletes are looking forward to seeing them develop further now they have come through the Get On Track programme, which has given them the tools they need to get fit for work and fit for life. I wish them every success.”

Jonathan Wheeler, Breakthrough mentoring coordinator at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This second round of Get On Track has been a tremendous success and builds on the great results we had with the first. I’m really proud of the young people’s success in completing the programme. It’s amazing to see how much they have changed over its course, with many of them either getting back into education or securing jobs.”

Case study – Brett Harding

23-year-old Brett Harding from Yate was previously working as a gymnastics coach and personal trainer but became unemployed when the company he was working for went bankrupt. Brett’s local job centre recommended the Get On Track programme to him, and he joined the course because he wanted to improve his skills coaching larger groups of people.

Brett enjoyed the team work elements to the first part of the programme and he found the give back project particularly rewarding. He worked on the gardening task, where he and three others renovated the garden of a disabled family and prepared it for the installation of an access ramp.

He said: “I chose the gardening task because one of the athlete mentors said it would be good to choose something outside of your comfort zone. It was a lot of hard work and we all came home exhausted, but the feeling we got back from it was amazing, it was better than being paid! The family were so friendly and appreciative, they really did deserve it.”

Brett gained the Community Sports Leadership Award (CSLA) level one whilst on the programme. He now has a new job at Sports 1st as a sports coach.

“The Get On Track programme has done so much for me. I strive for more, and I’ve worked a lot harder since doing this course. I have become more confident in the skills I possess and in what I am capable of. It has improved my teamwork skills, my one on one skills as a coach have improved and my coaching of multiple people has improved drastically,” Brett added.

The programme concluded with an evening event in Yate on Wednesday 22 May celebrating the success and achievements of the young people on the course.


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