At an event at Leicester Adult Education College the ten winners were celebrated as inspirations for other Leicestershire young people struggling to get into work or further education.
Lee Miles, was named winner of the YES Young Person the Year Award. Lee, from Beaumont Leys, was nominated by Seed Creativity after successfully completing media and employability programmes and securing a job.
When he left school, Lee had low levels of literacy and numeracy which badly affected his confidence but his self-belief blossomed on the YES programmes and during work experience at Seed Creativity. He applied for jobs and secured a flurry of job interviews and since October has been working at the Leicester trampoline park Flip Out.
“The support I have had from the YES Project has been amazing. Getting a full-time job after a long period of being unemployed is all down to the help I have received from them.”
Seed Creativity’s operations & training manager Chris Gray presented the award to Lee and said:
“Lee’s participation in a series of programmes of support have increased the key skills that have enabled him to make a transition into employment. I believe that Lee’s story is compelling evidence of how programmes, such as the YES project, can transform the lives of young people”.
The other nine winners are:
Kamaljit Singh, 18, was nominated by Leicestershire Cares. Kam, from Leicester, studied to get his Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, registered as self-employed and is now enjoying working as a labourer.
Aminah Salim Moosa, 22, was nominated by Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti. Aminah, from Leicester, returned to the UK after secondary education in South Africa and successfully passed her GCSE maths and English, joined Leicester College and aims to start a physiotherapy degree in 2018.
Andrew Plant, 24, was nominated by Voluntary Action LeicesterShire. Andrew, from Barwell, joined the YES Project’s Youth Leadership Group and is now volunteering on the YES Media course, supporting those young people who were in his position a year ago.
Charlie Dysono Baxter, 18, was nominated by TwentyTwenty. Charlie, from Barwell, began to fight for her education and jumped into what was being offered, achieving maths and ICT qualifications, doing work experience and has started an apprenticeship.
Holly Georg, 22, was nominated by Soft Touch Arts. Holly, from Leicester, has taken on everything that Soft Touch Arts’ programme has offered, from creative activities to mentoring and lots of group activities. She is always enthusiastic and keen to get involved.
Jack Johnson, 22, was nominated by YES Enterprise. Jack, from Broughton Astley, dreamt of starting a sports coaching business. He developed a business plan and piloted boccia sessions at Broughton Astley Parish Hall which have become financially self-sufficient.
Kyle Hurran, 23, was nominated by Warwickshire College. Kyle, from Leicester, has helped and supported his peers on the YES Project and is a trusted and reliable volunteer at the British Heart Foundation.
Luke Crowshaw, 18, was nominated by The Bridge. Luke, from Great Glen, volunteered with his village wildlife group, has completed courses and started more. With his confidence increasing, Luke is aiming to complete his maths and English qualifications and get a job.
Robert Simpson, 23, was nominated by the Prince’s Trust. Robert, from Loughborough, performed outstandingly on the Prince’s Trust programme, both in training and on work experience at Marks & Spencer which led to him being offered a job.
Dave Sharpe, YES Project Manager at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, said:
“The young people receiving the awards have done amazingly well and we wanted to put on an event to acknowledge and celebrate their successes. There are currently 190 young people on the project receiving specialist support, and over 70 of them have now got a job or moved into further education. So, next year we will be celebrating again.”
Peter Boyne, Care Leavers Manager at Leicestershire Cares, said:
“The event was an inspiration to all the young people that attended. It was an amazing way to celebrate the successes of those involved and to encourage others to participate.”
More than 80 young people attended the event, designed for the winners’ stories to inspire them to also progress towards employment. They enjoyed T-shirt printing, playing boccia, live music and a prize draw.