Awards 2010: Course Helps Youth Project Break Records

12 November 2009

Fran Fletcher and the e2e project

Fran Fletcher (right) with members of the e2e project in Grantham.

This course has enabled me to go on a valuable journey from being a youth worker to becoming a professional in a more managerial role...

Fran Fletcher

Delighted project leaders say their expertise, enhanced through a University of Derby course, has played a key role in making 2009 a year to remember for their young persons' welfare service.

A record number of disaffected teenagers living in the South Lincolnshire area are in employment, work-based learning or further education this autumn through Lincolnshire County Council's Teenage Services e2e project (LTS e2e), which is delivered in the Grantham and Sleaford area.

The project operates in Grantham with 16-19 year-olds who have become disengaged from learning and lack a focus on 'what to do next'. Some are homeless, have been excluded from school or college, have personal and or behavioural issues or feel disaffected from society.

LTS e2e enjoys sustained good results, securing future work and education opportunities for a record 78 per cent of teenage members (to July 2009), and the service also recently received a 'good' Ofsted report.

Two of the project's workers, Fran Fletcher and Philippa Wills, have both studied on the University's Community and Youth Work professional qualification - enhancing their sector knowledge and expertise. Both know the skills gained have been successfully applied back into their workplace, contributing to the recent achievements.

Fran, who graduates at the University's Awards Ceremony in January, is LTS e2e's Team Leader. She especially found the course valuable exploring current national legislation including Every Child Matters, promoting health and wellbeing in children, and the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) which promotes integrated working between agencies.

CAF is a key part of delivering frontline services which are integrated and are focussed around the needs of children and young people.

LTS e2e young people are self-referred, referred by schools or colleges or by one of the many agencies, such as Connexions, the Youth Service, the Youth Offending Team or Social Services, that work with young people.

Fran said: "Studying on this course was the first time in about 20 years ago that I had gone back into education and it has been well worth committing the time and energy into my personal development.

"In terms of applying knowledge from the course, a good example has been the analysis and interpretation of the CAF, enabling me to learn more about effective multi-agency partnerships, for agencies to work effectively together for the benefit of supporting the individual. This has helped trying to ensure that no young people 'slip through the gaps' in between the provision offered by various support agencies in the area.

"This course has enabled me to go on a valuable journey from being a youth worker to becoming a professional in a more managerial role, drawing on my expertise in youth work, developing and delivering a successful strategy for our team."

Fran went on the course after being recommended by fellow LTS e2e colleague Philippa Wills, who graduated last January and is a full-time Youth Development Worker on the project.

LTS e2e young people meet at Earlesfield Youth Centre, on Trent Road in Grantham, and learn a variety of valuable skills for their future working lives for example English and maths, ICT, team building and problem solving, personal and social development and a variety of other skills such as cooking and gardening.

The project aims to support young people overcome barriers to employment and education by boosting their employability, developing job searching techniques and personal skills. This in turn will raise their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.

Derby's professional award in youth work has recently been re-validated by the National Youth Agency who praised the support given to students and the good working relationship with workers and employers in the field.

Their tutor at the University, Vicki Millward, is Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Applied Community and Youth Work degree.

She said: "Fran and Philippa are two wonderful people and cracking youth workers into the bargain. They were excellent students and it is great news that the e2e project they both work in has achieved a good Ofsted report. Lincolnshire have supported workers through the course and this is a really productive partnership."

To find out more about the course, contact Programme Leader Vicki Millward on 01332 594012.

For more information about this news release, contact Deputy Head of Corporate Relations Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038 or email: s.redfern@derby.ac.uk

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