Award for youngsters

Princes Trust presentation with Team 13 graduating at the end of their course.  Pictured with the graduates are team leaders Katie Metcalfe, Chris Harris and PCSO Cat Nuttall. (w101209-4)

Princes Trust presentation with Team 13 graduating at the end of their course. Pictured with the graduates are team leaders Katie Metcalfe, Chris Harris and PCSO Cat Nuttall. (w101209-4)

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YOUNG adults looking for a fresh start in life are being encouraged to sign up to the Prince’s Trust team programme.

The 12 week course – aimed at getting people aged 16-25 into employment, or in to a form of training that will provide them with a better chance of getting a job – offers work experience, qualifications, practical skills and community projects.

Founded in 1976, by HRH The Prince of Wales, the charity was set up to help change young people’s lives.

Bassetlaw programme leader Chris Harris remained defiant the issue still rings true, 35 years on. “I still get people who have just come out of school, they are so naive, it is quite frightening sometimes,” he said.

“After 12 weeks they have got more about them.”

“It can change their outlook completely, no one is going to give you something – you have to go and get it yourself.”

“We do help them along the way, if they wanted to do catering we would get them in to a college, they would then need some whites, they can get a grant which they do not have to pay back.”

“If they are travelling from places such as Retford, we pay their travel expenses.”

The scheme aims to tackle the problem of one in five young people in the UK out of work, education or training.

Chris, a retired police officer of 32 years, has just witnessed the 13th set of individuals, who enrolled on the course in Bassetlaw, graduate.

“People think I’m mad but I enjoy it.”

“We form the team and take these young people to a centre in Derbyshire to get them to bond as a team and make them cook and clean together.”

“It is not a holiday, it’s time to bond and work out your strengths and weaknesses.”

“The last team were exceptional,” he added.

The programme also helps to raise funds for much needed community projects and last year they helped tend to the community centre, on Burnham Road, Epworth, which he said hadn’t had a lick of paint for 20 years.

The course also offers work placement and Chris added that they try to get them something they want to do as a career, although on occasions it is not the case.

“If they want to be a mechanic they do not have to go to a garage.”

“The trust want to see them get their backside out of bed in the morning and experience the work place and work ethic.”

“They also have a day with the army and then the local fire brigade where they do various tasks.”

“We do not want to see the same person that came started the course and we rarely do after 12 weeks.”

“We get them to work with a group in the community for their own benefit.”

“Last year we went to Alfreton Park Community Special School and worked with the Sixth Form there who have students with learning or physical disabilities. It was a real eye opener as they were the same age.”

Chris said they are still recruiting for the next course to begin on Monday 10th January at The Crossing, Newcastle Street. And all those interested to contact him on 07967 661513.