Helping Hand from Game Changer Creates New Opportunities for Young People
Game Changer is a project funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community
21st September 2021
Time at school or college can be very challenging, if you add the stress of getting poor GSCE results at the end of it, this can leave many young people feeling disheartened and excluded, creating additional barriers to finding a job and starting a career. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, young people aged 15-24 who are unemployed or not in education can count on the support from Game Changer to help them move forward. Led by Real Ideas Organisation the programme offers of 1-2-1 meetings, group sessions and work experience opportunities to assist participants achieve employment, return to education or access training. Thanks to the support of Game Changer’s friendly team of navigators, young people get to explore their interests and find the right path for their future career.
Cameron engaged with Game Changer two years ago and now reflects on his first month ever in a full-time job working at M&S in Truro, where he’s really enjoying working with his colleagues who are ‘a really funny bunch’ and he’s fully focussed on ‘going for it as well as taking everything onboard as an experience.’
As Cameron settles with his responsibilities and the new requirements, he can continue to receive the brilliant support from his mentor in Emma who helped him to prepare for his first full-time role in the world of work.
A year ago, however, Cameron would never have envisaged himself in this situation. He says, “I’m dyslexic and wasn’t that great in school where I was always being told off! After school, there was no obvious route and I was in and out of the Job Centre and did some courses. But they were boring and some of them messed with my mind. Mostly I was just sitting there, getting all this information but I wasn’t really learning anything or doing anything.”
Thanks to Emma’s support, Cameron worked out that he was keen to try working outdoors, which led Emma to set up a work experience placement at the Eden Project for him. Cameron was anxious about meeting new people, and about messing up this opportunity, but, despite his initial reservations, he followed Emma’s advice and went for it.
Cameron says, “Oh – it was amazing. I met such an incredible bunch of people and we all got along. We built so much stuff: a path, two greenhouses, and a roundhouse. And all of it was just amazing. You don’t get told off if you do something wrong. They just show you how to do things right and that feels really good.”
Cameron continues, “Through the Eden Project work with Gamechanger, I felt like I ‘gained myself’, I was getting help to improve myself. And I also learned ways to deal with my anxiety, and to be able to talk to people, which I wouldn’t have done before because I was really shy and into myself.”
Cameron had never had any experience of going into any work and Game Changer helped him build his CV and understand how to ‘be’ in work. He also learned some new coping strategies alongside the fact that he needed to stop being so tough on himself. These are new mind and skillsets that he’s using every day in his new job which he’s really enjoying and is helping him re-imagine his future ambitions.
Led by Real Ideas, Game Changer is a project funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community and works with a range of partners including Cornwall Marine Network, Creative Kernow, Eden Project, Pentreath Ltd, White Gold and local businesses to provide young people with opportunities to achieve a brighter future for themselves.
More Information: www.realideas.org/about-us/our-work/game-changer/