SINCE January 2023, 14 young Grimsby residents have attended a 12-week programme at CatZero, funded by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The group of unemployed 18-25-year-olds have undertaken a number of different activities during that time, with a focus being on motivation, confidence building and employability skills.
To celebrate the end of the programme, of which all 14 young people were successful in completing, an event was held at The Hub in Freeman Street, attended by parents and support workers, and Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison. During the programme, participants gained a total of 50 certificates of achievements, 334 attendances, and seven of the young people have outcomes following the programme while the other seven continue to work with CatZero to realise their goals for the future.
CatZero Partnership and Development Manager Pete Tighe said at the event: “I see a group of people in front of me that changed ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’. You started as a group that didn’t know each other and you have become a bunch of people that are friends who can support each other as well.”
Of the 50 certificates of achievement, courses included food safety, health and safety, and first aid. The group came from a whole range of educational backgrounds, with some already having completed the first year or two of a degree course and some with a school education. The PCC programme has since inspired some, like 20-year-old Cameron, to return to university in the future. Cameron was studying physics and hopes to attend York University this September, having suffered from low confidence and, like many, struggling with the effects of the pandemic. Other participants have work experience at the Blue Cross and Care Plus Group, while one is heading to a PGCE at Manchester Met.
Participant Callum Dawson, who attended the celebration event with his mum, said: “I have really enjoyed this course and feel a lot more confident than when I started.
“I did bushcraft at Welton Water, Go Ape at Normanby Hall, I have done a lot of CV and employability work. I want to work with animals so I am hoping to volunteer somewhere that I can gain some experience, to go with the animal care qualification I already have. Maybe university is something I can look at in the future.”
Callum’s mum, Emma D’andilly, said: “I am so proud of what he has achieved. He wouldn’t come out of his room but now he is getting up on time, he seems really happy and he has made friends. He is beaming!”
One aspect that was spoken of throughout the group was that participants continue to feel fully supported with the ‘Once CatZero, Always CatZero’ ethos. They feel as though they can always contact staff for support or advice and won’t feel as though their journey has abruptly ended. Personal Development Team member Fiona Daggett will continue to support those who do not already have outcomes, helping them to implement their ideas, hand-holding each participant as long as they need.
Supported at the event by the YMCA’s Leanne Burley, Lewis said: “I have some ideas about what I want to do, but haven’t decided yet. I will be working with Fiona after the programme.
“I did the taster sail on the yacht, which was great, so I did the 8-day sail when it came up – it was my favourite part! We went to Holy Island, visiting Blythe and Newcastle on the way, and it meant a lot to me getting to try the new challenges on this, and on the whole course.”
Support worker Leanne said: “Lewis is a resident at the YMCA and it has been lovely to see the change in him. It has really improved his lifestyle; he has anxiety and low confidence and I have seen massive, positive changes in him.”
The 72-foot Challenge yacht used for the sailing ‘residentials’ is an important tool for the organisation, helping participants with teambuilding, self-confidence, and cooperation. For younger adults, the experience puts them into an environment that can often them away from peer pressure and the often-difficult confines of life back home.
A highlight of the programme was a Café Day, attended by representatives of a number of local organisations, including the Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire, and PCC Jonathan Evison. The group planned the menu, cooked a delicious, 3-course meal, and served to guests as they practised their front of house skills.
At the Café Day, Mayor Cllr Beasant said: “It has been marvellous, they have laid on something really special. It’s always lovely to come to a CatZero event, and everyone has done an amazing job!”
At The Hub’s celebration event, a pack containing certificates and the participants’ new CVs were handed out to 11 of the attending participants by the Police and Crime Commissioner. Addressing the group, he finished: “You have made those changes to yourselves, and it’s an absolute credit to every single one of you and I wish you all the best for your future endeavours. I am sure I will hear some glowing reports.
Find out more about PCC Commissioning and Grants at https://www.humberside-pcc.gov.uk/Our-Work/Commissioning-and-Grants.aspx