Wednesday 23rd May was the date, Home Retail Group HQ in CMK was the venue for the launch of the Young People are our Future project.
A group of invited guests including various departmental heads from MK council, representatives from local companies and a wonderfully diverse bunch of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds joined the YPAOF team and its founder Gary Payne at a presentation designed to inspire and motivate the local community.
Despite a beautiful evening, which could of easily became an easy distraction for many, the hospitality suite was full to the rim, bursting with enthusiasm and intrigue.
As Gary shared his vision with the group the simplicity of the project started to be appreciated by those attending. Off course, nothing is that simple and this initial response soon turned into a number of questions relating to the complexity of getting numerous local groups to work together.
The most common statement of the event was "This is very ambitious"
"Ambitious it is" said Gary. If we are going to make a real and lasting difference we need to set the bar high and attempt to positive affect the lives of thousands of local young people.
He went on to say "In every community their are the skills, enthusiasm, drive and resources to achieve some amazing things, however very rarely do people come together to tap into these unique features within the community and local people suffer as a consequence".
As a direct result of the launch, the Young People are our Future project is proud to boast a growing group of 36 volunteers (In just a few days), support from many departmental heads within the local authority and from local clubs/groups and companies.
Jurys Inn and Home Retail Group HQ were so impressed with the project and the response from those attending they increased their support by providing the facilities and resources to develop a profesional training program for the volunteers.
What next - Well YPAOF is well into phase two of its development and will be starting it volunteer training program in just three weeks time - We want a small army of volunteers to benefit from this training and are continually looking for passionate and driven people to join the team - check out http://www.youngpeopleareourfuture.org/GetInvolved.aspx
We are closing in on some potential options to provide the project with a venue for MK. With a little luck and some local kindness we are seeking to fill one of the many empty warehouse facilities within MK so that we can create a lasting community spirit within what will become the YPAOF HQ.
Local authorities and businesses have locations across the city that can easily be utilised for a great community initiative, so if you can help, get in contact.
We are launching the sponsor a child initiative in the first week of June, Where we are asking individuals and companies within the local community to donate just £3.50 to sponsor a child to experience the whole project>
1: They will receive a full life skills training course
2: They will have access to a wide variety of FREE activities across the city
3: They will experience a unique employability course designed to help young people get into work
The sponsor a child initiative is will be promoted to local companies throughout June in the hope that like VW their employees can each sponsor a child. It is hoped that the money raised through this initiative will provide not only 25,000 local young people with access to the project but will also enable us to start the project outreach work where we want to deploy the project nationwide.
If you work in a company and can are willing to represent the YPAOF project, we would love to hear from you so that we can get this great employee initiative up and running successfully.