Jade started her apprenticeship at Harvey’s in November 2012 and she says she’s never felt so happy! Life hasn’t always been good for Jade however. She was bullied at school and missed out on a lot of schooling as a result.
But since being referred to Project Challenge in February, Jade has never looked back. Project Challenge is a local charity that delivers intensive training programmes for disaffected young people. Through Project Challenge Jade has done boxing, canoeing, rock climbing and archery and completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award. She’s also learned to sail with the Ocean Youth Trust and trekked the 130km Tour Du Mont Blanc, camping en route and carrying a 25kg ruck sack.
“The Tour Du Mont Blanc was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but once I’d completed it I felt I could do anything,” says Jade. “The experience helped restore my self-esteem and confidence.”
On her return Jade had to do a presentation on the trip and how she had benefited from it to a group of Project Challenge sponsors. She also read out a poem she had written about the experience. People were moved to tears to hear Jade’s story and Roger Harvey was so impressed he offered her a job.
Since starting work at Harvey’s Jade has been enjoying gaining experience in every department throughout the store, from window dressing to cosmetics. She is working towards NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Retail and says she is enjoying the customer service side of the job. “Once I’ve gained enough experience I’d be interested in becoming a buyer, travelling around selecting new stock,” she adds. “As a child I always wanted to join the fire service and it’s still something I’d like to do eventually.”
Jade has since finished her apprenticeship and has gained her qualifications. She is now employed by Harveys.
From school I wanted to go into video game development and so enrolled on a Calderdale College course for 2 years where I learned many things including designing and creating my own website and even developing my own game from scratch, however after i had finished the course In 2013 i was unsure about going into further education and just wanted to find a job in IT support.
I had no prior work related experience so through a family contact in May 2014, I decided to volunteer to help at a Youth Charity called Compass Bridge in Elland, I offered my support to checking computers for virus etc and installing alternative software.
Whilst at Compass Bridge i was offered the opportunity to volunteer for the Elland Our Place project where I am now helping set up a new website working with Zest Design & Print and supporting the delivery of a business breakfast event.
I have gained practical admin skills, as i am in charge of taking the bookings for the business breakfast which has involved sending emails to local businesses and replying to people that were wanting to attend the event.
I have also set up the social media side of things, creating the Facebook and twitter accounts and running them alongside the project.
The owners of Zest, Lorna and Claire have been very supportive and patient whilst providing me with training , guidance and mentoring which has helped me to develop my skills.
Through a contact of the owners of Zest i was able to arrange some work experience with someone that helped install and fix computer systems which is what i was interested in going into.
By volunteering for things i have gained good practical work experience, new skills and IT knowledge as well as meeting new contacts in the industry.
I have really enjoyed volunteering on this project. My new skills, experience and knowledge will go well on my CV
I would definitely recommend to other young people to Volunteer for an organisation /charity to gain new skills and experience.
Jake was offered an apprenticeship with Elland Our Place, but received another offer at the same time and is now on an apprenticeship with Croslee.
Thanks to the joint efforts of Working Wonders, Orange Box young people’s centre, Project Challenge and Work Wise, 22-year old Jordan Martin, who was previously unemployed, has been appointed Building Host at Orange Box.
Jordan is responsible for setting up meeting rooms, manning reception, answering the phone, greeting customers, room bookings, building maintenance, fire exits and fire extinguishers.
Jordan came to Orange Box through Work Wise services for the disabled. He suffers from anxiety and visual impairment.
Having started in the Orange Box kitchen on a work trial, cooking, cleaning and serving food and drinks, Jordan now works 18 hours a week. He continues to support Project Challenge as a trainee in the kitchen, taking care of money floats, making teas and coffees.
“Orange Box is brilliant; people are kind and friendly,” says Jordan. “Everyone gets on together, they are all professionals - no egos! It feels safe here.”
Jordan will be at Orange Box until April when his performance will be reviewed. He’s hoping to be able to stay on as a paid employee.