Learners from the R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School (RAPS) have been volunteering in their local community.
There are now three groups of RAPS learners who all regularly participate in one afternoon of volunteering a week, and in return, the volunteering work provides the learners with a great sense of self worth and achievement. They also gain vital skills and qualities needed for future career paths and their transition into adulthood, such as enhanced social skills, increased confidence, self management and also specific job related skills that are gained within the areas of volunteer work they undertake.
The learners volunteer at Sutton Young People’s Centre (SYPC), Quarrydale Young People’s Centre (QYPC), and the Community Kitchen Project at Garibaldi Young People’s Centre (GYPC). The work undertaken includes gardening, collecting litter, painting and decorating, helping to create a wall mural and preparing and cooking food for the community kitchen project.
Zoe Taylor, Youth Worker from GYPC (Gara) said: “Without the students coming from R.E.A.L. Education we would be unable to run the community kitchen at the level we currently do. They have been able to build really great relationships up with the young people of Gara, they work together effectively now and are starting to be able to communicate on a higher level.
“The work that R.E.A.L. Education students’ work experience gives to the community of Gara is of a very high level and it has been a pleasure to integrate both sets of students together.”
Lesley Froggatt, Specialist Teaching Assistant for Workskills at R.E.A.L. Education said: “Some of our young people feel unsure about engaging in a formal work experience placements. Opportunities like these are vital to our young people’s personal and social development to support them and their next steps beyond R.E.A.L. Education.
“I feel because of the complex needs needs of some of our young people, the partnerships R.E.A.L. has with the local youth centres and youth workers provide an ideal environment that will prepare the learners for formal work experience in the future.”