Last Thursday (16 August) staff from Havering Council and Prospects, the employment, skills, care and education company, took a group of young people on a motivational trip to London as part of Project 21.
Project 21 is inspired by the card game “21”, in which the player choses whether to ‘stick’ with the cards they receive or ‘twist’ and take a chance on new cards. Project 21 encourages young people to 'twist' and try new things, rather than 'stick' with their norms.
Many young people in London face stark choices every day. Options that may be as difficult as do I stay at home and look after my siblings or do I go to school. The choice is often to ‘stick’ in a familiar situation rather than ‘twist’ and aspire for more. Prospects works with young people across London to help them raise aspirations and potential. With the help of Havering Council, Prospects funded the trip to take 17 young people into the capital.
The group of young people were all ready to set off on a sunny, exciting London treasure trail and lunch at Aqua at The Shard. But as with a lot of their previous working and educational ventures, this wasn’t an easy journey. After months of heatwaves and hosepipe bans, Thursday 16 August decided to be the day that the heavens opened. Soaked, beaten and bruised by the weather, the young people were not going to be defeated. Fortunately, London is a city awash with opportunity, and the young people decided that as a group they would not be beaten, they worked through the now quiet but wet streets of London ending up at the Tate Modern.
After a wet but rewarding morning, it was time to enjoy lunch while overlooking Tower Bridge and reflect on their morning’s achievements and make plans to achieve even more. In addition, the young participants received digital badges, an innovative recognition scheme visable online to future employers awarded by Prospects.
The trip was a great opportunity for the young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), to develop leadership, team working skills as well as building confidence enabling them to take the next step onto learning or training.
Those who took part really enjoyed the day. Feedback from the event included:
Neha from Harrow said: "Yesterday's event was a completely new and different opportunity not just for me but for everyone who attended. It was enjoyable despite the heavy rainfall."
Colm from Bexley described the day: “Today was refreshing and has taught me to live life to the most of it.”
Millie from Bexley said: “Walking around London in the rain was eventful but the view from the 31st floor of Aqua at The Shard was definitely worth it, especially with Dee and Jodie.”
Charlie from Havering commented: “I never thought I would have the chance to visit a place like this. My aim is to get to a place where I can bring people here myself.”
Coojie from Havering summed the day up as: “#NuffRespectProspects.”