With Opportunities for Volunteering funding some years ago, we developed a Young Person’s Lifestyles group project with a first meeting to experience our sensational Cornish event, the Burning of the Beast on Bodmin Moor on Halloween night. Our first group consisted of four young people and two helpers. We found that the role of volunteers swapped throughout the journey, which was very beneficial and empowered the young people involved. The group gelled nicely and all involved said they could not remember the last time they had so much fun - and it was great to see 100's of other people struggling with the mud as much as we were.
They all agreed that they would like to get a few qualifications or awards behind them but also this initial friendly support group would allow them to get a social life together.
Planning for a residential training week to be held at accessible Butlins in Minehead took up most of the spring meetings. The week away went like a dream; sunbathing, swimming, preparing food together, swapping stories, good and bad. The purpose of the residential was to select a committee and to work towards writing a constitution – all of which was done in an atmosphere of support and youthful enterprise.
The membership of YPL was always changing due to individuals exercising their newfound independence; moving away from home; starting university; leaving to start work. With people getting older and direct funding coming to an end, the group continues in an informal way, organising adventurous events such as zip wire, ice-skating, motorbike events, water skiing – and pub meals and disco’s.
The age restriction has been lifted along with a name change from Young Person’s to Young and Active. – Join us, join in.
Simon is 36 and has been in a wheelchair since 1995. Read about his experiences of college, the challenges he's faced in finding employment and the help he has received from Mid Cornwall Lifestyles.