Our tenth Get on Track programme in partnership with the YMCA in Hayes is well underway. We caught up with Claire Bennett, one of the athlete mentors on the programme to find out how the first few weeks have gone. 

The first week was all about the team getting to know each other so that the group felt comfortable with one another and started to build their confidence as a group. They underwent a series of task based activities designed to help support communication and team building. At the end of the week they completed the 'Don't Go There' challenge through which they gained a great deal of resilience and motivation to see the programme through to the end. They learnt lessons in working together as a team and never doing less than their best. It was a fantastic team effort and it was great to see some of the group leaders begin to shine through.  

Week Two looked at goal setting and starting to think about their futures and what they wanted to do after they complete Get on Track. They did a visualisation exercise to help with their focus and direction around what they wanted to individually go on to achieve. The whole group received focused 1-1's around career aspirations and planning for their futures. The young people engaged really well and we could see the determination that they had as a group to go into training, education or employment. 

They then started planning for their social action project to be delivered in the third week. The group were split up into four smaller groups where they had to plan two activities for a 'Sports Day' that they were going to deliver to over 120 primary school children the following week. Many of the young people were well into their stretch zone, with some questioning their self-belief to complete the social action project but they supported one another to step up and deliver. During this week their confidence has grown as a team and they are motivated to do more. They have also started to arrive on time more and behave as role models ready to deliver the following week. We saw huge growth and progress in their confidence and self-esteem this week. 

Week Three saw the group deliver their social action project at Botwell Leisure Centre in Hayes. They all arrived early ready to begin set-up and rehearse their roles within the delivery. They stayed focused and motivated right until the end, behaving as role models and encouraging and motivating the children during their sports days. The children received medals from the young people on Get on Track as well as four trophies for the 'Spirit of the Games', individuals who had shown the most effort. We then celebrated their success with the social action project with a trip for the entire group to the bowling alley.

 

Finally the young people completed a First Aid course and received a qualification that they will be able to include on their CV's.

All in all it was a fantastic week, Hannah, George and the Team at YMCA  were extremely proud of the group and what they have achieved already. They have come a long way since the first week. But just don't just take my word for it, here is a selection of quotes from the young people on the programme after just a few weeks.

Get On Track has brought me skills that I hadn't noticed before. It's brought me out of my shell, knowing I have the Get on Track family supporting me. It's motivated me to find work.

Before I was very stubborn and didn't want to do anything. Get on Track is the one thing that has got me out of bed and has kept me going. It's been years since I've done something constructive like this.

It's building my confidence and keeping me focused.

Everyone's really supportive and everyone's feelings are taken into consideration. Not only do the mentors want to build us up, but they take time to get to know you and your story.

Get on Track in Hayes is delivered in partnership with the YMCA St. Paul's Group and has been made possible by funding from GWR.