Troubled youth pick up awards

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 16-25-year-olds 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.

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Bassetlaw programme leader Chris Harris remained defiant the issue still rings true, almost 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.”

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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 seen the 13th team to have 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.

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The programme also helps to raise funds for much needed community projects and last year they helped Burnham Road Community Centre, which 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 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.”

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“After that they 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.”

They are still recruiting for the next course to begin on Monday 10th January at The Crossing, Newcastle Street.