Almost thirty new learners who had recently finished comprehensive school took part in Ospreys in the Community's TACKLE Summer Programme, supported by NPTC Pathways.
The team worked hard to redevelop the entire programme to adapt to the lockdown restrictions whilst still providing an accessible and enjoyable project to re-engage young people and focus their minds on a return to education and employment opportunities.
In previous years, TACKLE can usually be found at Neath Port Talbot College, the Liberty Stadium, the beach front or on an exciting tour of a business, but with the restrictions the team had to put the safety of their learners first. They delivered a new distance learning programme with online content as well as distributing a number of booklets, ensuring they were able to work with a wide range of learners, catering for their needs and overcoming barriers.
Learners took part in daily tasks over the five-week period which included taking photos of their local areas to build up a picture of their lives and focus on setting their own personal goals. They had the opportunity to hear from industry professionals in a range of Zoom workshops. Learner wellbeing also became hugely important due to the current pandemic so it was great to have health and wellbeing online discussions from Ospreys sports psychologist, Steve Mellalieu and an insight into mental health from Hafal too.
The learners also had the opportunity to speak to last year’s Summer programme graduate, now TACKLE ambassador Tilly Davies on her next stages after the programme and gave them the chance to think about their next step into education with a particular focus on first day nerves in College.
The creative individuals were able to take part in workshops from graphic designer and illustrator Rosie Williams and also got to hear from costume designer, Ray Holman whose CV includes Doctor Who and Torchwood.
Other workshops included a talk from entrepreneurs from Big Ideas Wales, fitness workshops from Swansea Outdoor Fitness and the LC, construction work from TACKLE Ambassador and Morganstone Ltd’s community engagement manager, Nia Collard, as well as Transport for Wales, Rail and Ministry of People.
Speaking about another successful Summer programme, Employability co-ordinator Dorian Evans said: “It proved challenging to adapt the whole programme especially when one of our biggest strengths in recent years has been our ability to make everything we do as personal and engaging as we can. But we developed a new fully online programme as well as compiling so many of our resources into TACKLE Booklets which we delivered to individuals who didn’t have internet access, and it proved really successful.
"We felt it was important to introduce as much consistency as possible to try getting learners into some kind of routine. Each day 10am & 1pm myself and Nick would be sending over their workshops. We set tasks to develop the key skills we’ve always focused on and challenges which encouraged our learners to keep active. Simple things like going for a walk and taking a photo of their favourite spot helped us learn so much about our learners but it encouraged them to go for that walk with a purpose. Learner feedback has been really positive whether it’s enjoyment, built confidence, developed communication skills or just learned more about their future prospects.
"A big thank you to everyone who supported as always. This additional expertise adds so much to every programme we do. The lockdown actually gave us a chance to reach out to new ones and we hope these new relationships will continue and grow.”