Through our ESF NEET Contract, Groundwork is able to help and support young people who are at risk of becoming NEET. In addition to working with young people aged 16+ we also work with a number of schools in Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale.
As part of our ESF NEET work we were asked by Wardle Academy to deliver the 12 week Haven project to a group of female pupils. Haven has been designed by Barnardos to help raise self esteem and tackles subjects such as child sexual exploitation, E Safety and generally staying safe as a young female.
We also provide positive activities in the school holidays to encourage healthy lifestyles and allow us to bond as a group outside of the classroom. After discussing with the group, we decided on going to Dickey Steps at Hollingworth Lake for an hour long horse riding lesson. After all that fresh air and exercise we then thought a carvery meal would be a great way to re-charge our battery’s and fill our bellies.
We collected the girls from the school and were amazed that they were not only all there on time but early! Glad to see they were all so keen. We arrived at the farm and all got allocated our own horses. Me and Ann (Groundwork staff members) tried to take some pictures of the girls but eyebrows are a big priority with this group and if the eyebrows aren’t styled to perfection then no photos are allowed to be taken!
After a lovely and unusually sunny February afternoon we spent a lovely hour trying out jogging trots, I even tried a standing trot and Ann was brave enough to canter. I think we all fell a little bit in love with our horses and the activity was enjoyed by all.
Off we went to The Sandbrook to fill our boots with a carvery meal with as much vegetables as you like (plus ice cream to match), which was a perfect end to a great afternoon.
We will continue seeing the girls now every Tuesday afternoon in Wardle Academy to carry on with the group work that we do as part of the Haven project. In addition we will also carry out regular 1-2-1’s with the girls which helps us to identify any issues or problems they may be facing that they want to discuss with us in confidence.