A PAIR of workshops for unemployed young people were a big success, organisers have said.

Flintshire Council's Inclusion Service, in partnership with Jane Bellis of Art and Soul Tribe and James Hunt of CAFgas, recently ran the activities for young people who had become disengaged from education, employment and training (NEET).

These young people face a variety of life challenges and, for one reason or another, are disengaging from education.

Providers worked with the young people to empower them to grasp positivity, to help them relate to others, to work in a team and find a positive focus for their future.

The sessions ran initially for six weeks with a morning session for young women and one young man and an afternoon session for young men.

These focused on engaging the young people through activities which they found interesting and appealing.

The success achieved by the young people has led to a further six weeks being organised by the council’s progression team.

Participants attending the morning session worked through a workbook called “mindset mojo” which has been developed by Jane Bellis to help young people explore their barriers and develop their confidence, whilst learning about hair and make-up techniques and other valuable skills for their future.

Those attending the afternoon sessions spent time with James Hunt, an ex-serviceman and owner of local heating engineering company CAFgas.

The attendees were shown how to use cutting tools and safety equipment, with the focus of the sessions being to use their newly learnt skills to produce a table and candlesticks out of copper piping.

Alice Williams, Flintshire’s engagement progressions co-ordinator, said: “Despite Flintshire having one of the lowest NEET levels in Wales and with the general trend of reduction, we still need to engage with young people who experience a variety of life challenges, to encourage them to look at possible future options, life choices and so on.

"We look to work in partnership with our young people to identify realistic aims and goals.

"Most importantly, we need to work with them so they embrace the support on offer and benefit from it.

“Our team works hard to offer as many different experiences to these young people as possible and we have recently appointed Katy Griffiths, our new alternative education co-ordinator who will support the team to extend the range of provision on offer.

"These workshops are proving to be hugely successful and Flintshire will be looking to run more of them in the future.”

The progression team works with many organisations and individuals and has developed a community approach to supporting young people across Flintshire.

Funding for the scheme was through Flintshire Council for the initial pilot programme for the girls, with the National Lottery Awards for All supporting a further 12 sessions (six for boys and six for girls).

The projects were also supported by grants from Moving On Wrexham – a charity which awards one off grants, of up to £250, to support young people, from low income families, in progressing in work, education, training or volunteering within Wrexham County Borough and Flintshire.

Any companies or individuals who would like to get involved - or for more information - contact Alice Williams on 01352 704065 or email alice.williams@flintshire.gov.uk