July saw the first week of the Bournemouth & Poole Get on Track programme, delivered in partnership with Ansbury Guidance and Face Forward and according to athlete mentor Rich Parker the first week has been 'truly amazing.'

Get on Track is Dame Kelly Holmes Trust's flagship community-based personal, social and emotional development programme for 16-25 year olds and twelve young people from around Bournemouth & Poole will be attending the intensive part of the programme for the next four weeks. The programme helps young people realise the attitudes and behaviours they need to make long term positive life choices: Determination, focus, resilience, motivation and confidence.

The programme is being delivered by Dan James who has been the sighted goalkeeper for the England and Great Britain Blind football team for over ten years and world X-Games medallist Richard Parker. Richard had this to say about the first week:

The On Your Marks phase of this programme has been truly amazing. Seeing a group of individuals arrive on Day One and leave on Day Three as a tightly knit team of friends has been incredible. In just three days we have seen so many positive changes in members of the group, people who on day one barely had the confidence to say their name were, by the end of day three, leading challenges and tasks in front of a whole group. Others who were quickly getting frustrated by tasks at the beginning of On Your Marks were the calming voice to the group when things got the most stressful in the 'Don't Go There' challenge at the end of Day Three. To see what this group have achieved in just three days... I can't wait to see what they'll achieve by the end of the programme."

 The programme now moves on to the second section of the programme 'Get Set'where our athletes and partners work to improve the soft skills and the employability prospects of the young people on the programme. The next phase is around building confidence, communication, self belief and to challenge poor habits or lifestyle choices. They also undertake activities they probably won’t have experienced before and these sessions are designed to stretch the group and get them out of their comfort zones, helping to make them more adaptable to change in the real world and understand how much they can achieve. 

We'll be following their progress over the next few weeks so do follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the group and also other current projects the Trust are working on.

*Face Forward is an innovative project funded by the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, to support young people in Bournemouth, Poole, and Dorset into employment, education, and training.