The YES Project Awards were held on Monday 18th February 2019 at Hansom Hall in Leicester to celebrate the achievements of its young participants aged 15-24.
It proved to be an inspiring afternoon hearing the award winners’ journeys; the barriers they’ve overcome, their achievements and plans for the future. The award winners were decided by each of the
YES Projects Delivery Partners.
Speaking of the event, YES Project Executive Manager, Vandna Gohil said:
It was a great event that celebrates the achievements of young people and the progression they’ve made towards education, employment and training – truly heart-warming and inspiring.
Young Person of the Year
The overall “Young Person of the Year” was awarded to Alex, nominated by The Bridge East Midlands.
Alex wanted support with motivation, confidence building and dealing with his anxiety. Before starting YES Project, Alex wouldn’t leave the house, avoided family gatherings and holidays as his anxiety was too much. With his keyworker, Alex undertook small tasks to build up his confidence such as going into town for the first time in three years. Alex went on to complete the Engage programme at Twenty Twenty and is currently on the J2W course. Through The Bridge and YES Project Alex passed his theory test, takes the bus into town by himself and attends Leicester football matches with his dad.
The other winners
Imogen won an award from Youth Leadership Group. She’s demonstrated continued motivation, enthusiasm and commitment throughout her time on YES Media and Team YES programme. She is a valuable member of Youth Leadership Group, providing a thoughtful and intellectual point of view.
Izzy was low on confidence when she joined the YES Project in January 2018. She left half way through her college course and didn’t know where to turn. She was initially looking to start a business with the help of YES Enterprise. Regaining her confidence through the Enterprise and Media programmes to such a level, she made the decision to enrol at College and has started A Levels.
Reece was nominated by Twenty Twenty to win an award. With the support of his coach and one-to-one sessions, Reece has made positive steps to overcome low confidence and anxiety. Reece struggled early on but showed commitment to the project and slowly began to make progress. He’s now focused on getting a job and has a work placement lined up, making his way to the working world.
Luke started on the YES Project by signing up to YES Media. At this time he had low confidence levels and needed to engage in activates to help rebuild. He excelled on the programme, showing creative flair and commitment to the programme. Luke is a member to Youth Leadership Group, creating a promotional presentation for the group. He worked with VAL’s communication team to develop branding and completed a work placement with a local design agency.
Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti (BYCS) nominated Illam for an award. After completing her secondary education abroad, she had some functional English but lacked qualifications. She was referred to BYCS and onto the YES Project. Ilham advanced quickly and successfully completed 5 GCSE’s, progressing to College where she is undertaking A Levels and BTEC.
When Sam began the YES project as one of Soft Touch Arts’ first participants she was very reserved and quiet, with some anxiety and social communication issues. By accessing the Arts and Enterprise programmes she has been able to gain confidence, overcome her anxiety and utilise her skills to produce amazing pieces of art. Sam has now started her own business.
Rhys was nominated by delivery partner, The Prince’s Trust. Before starting the YES Project, Rhys was terrified of identifying as Transgender to new employers and whether they’d be accepting and accommodating. Rhys enrolled on the M&S Get into Retail programme to learn practical work experience as well as employability and interview skills. He excelled on the course and found the programme to be supportive and respectful. Rhys was successful in securing a 12 week, 16 hour contract with M&S.
Martin initially found it difficult to express his goals for the future and how he would achieve them. By joining the YES Project he was able to work closely with his keyworker to set realistic goals. Martin performed remarkably on his work experience at HMV that they offered him an employed position. This gave Martin an enormous self confidence boost and Martin realised he had the skills to thrive in the working world.
Sophie was nominated by Warwickshire College for demonstrating incredible strength to improve her confidence. When she joined the project she barely spoke and was nervous around new people. She’s accessed multiple delivery partners, working closely with staff to focus on self-development. Sophie has made significant progress and is now more independent, volunteering regularly at LOROS.