In 2021, we supported Community Action Isle Of Wight to launch a new detached youth work project. Beginning in October, youth workers began some consultation work in Sandown and Bay area. These areas were targeted as tensions between young people and older residents were high.
The project revolved around the idea that many young people may not be comfortable engaging in physical activity sessions without help. By steadily introducing youth workers who offer different branches of support over time, the physical activity opportunities and networks in the area would increase. The Energise YOUth funding gave workers the time and flexibility to build meaningful relationships with young people before introducing them to physical activity.
The Energise YOUth project staff were determined to support local young people and develop their skills, confidence and knowledge. They approached the local community, secondary schools and Island colleges for volunteers. As a result, they now have three young adult volunteers (aged between 18-21) who are being mentored.
My name is Gideon, I am 18 years old and am currently in my second year of studying a Sports Performance and Excellence B-Tec Level 3. I aspire to become a PE Teacher at a school. I plan to go to university and then get my PGCE after that.
I met Julian when he first started the youth project in my local area. I was offered a place on a one-day GB Boxing Tutor course in Portsmouth which I completed. Since then, I have been volunteering at the Energise YOUth project at the Boxing and Taster Cricket sessions in Sandown. I’ve also helped at local community events.
Volunteering with this project has really helped me as I am now able to coach boxing to young people. It has built my confidence, has made me more aware of the needs of my local community and the importance of sporting opportunities.
Before joining the detached youth work sessions, both young girls were not physically active. Ruby and Teyha started attending the Energise YOUth GB Boxing Award. Initially, neither felt very confident about engaging in the group.
After a few weeks, they spoke to their boxing tutor and the girls subsequently travelled to Newport Amateur Boxing Club. They attend sessions there weekly alongside the Energise YOUth sessions. They now enter the class with confidence and big smiles. Even encouraging other female friends to attend with them!
Teyha and Ruby outside the Boxing Award session
Teyha would have never tried boxing and we really appreciate the opportunity you have given her.
The regular detached sessions have been hugely successful, engaging large numbers of young people. A second youth worker needed to be recruited. They have since engaged with young people at the skate park and have worked with the town council to get the floodlights turned on in the evenings. They have referred young people into a local football project – also a partnership with Energise YOUth – and have launched open access boxing sessions.
The project is constantly evolving and we look forward to sharing further updates.