We're really pleased to be able to update everyone about the Sanctuary Supported Living Get on Track for Employability programmes we are currently delivering in Banbury, Brighton, Hartlepool and Weston-super-Mare.

Sanctuary Supported Living’s foyers provides housing with support for vulnerable and homeless young people aged 16 to 25 and these programmes are designed to help participants prepare to enter the world of work and living independently. May saw us entering the second month of the project and in total we ran eight sessions engaging with 38 young people across the four different sites. The programme focused this month on the planning and delivery of the social action programme, the practicing of interview skills and trying new physical activity sessions


The sessions for the group in Weston have been varied but all have one major goal in mind, to make the young people more employable. With this in mind, the group had an interview skills training session including mock interviews with professionals from outside the programme. Skills learned included how to greet people, what you might wear and the importance of preparation.  On another day the group had a health and wellbeing morning out on the local beach playing handball and doing circuits, all the time working on teamwork and confidence. 



The group in Brighton delivered their social action project to 30 elderly people. Social action projects are key to enable learning which can be transferred to the work environment as well as understanding the benefits of volunteering in the local community.

The young people delivered three activities relating to problem solving, social interaction and physical activity. One group delivered Countdown, another Pictionary and the third group did light stretching, co-ordination and reaction games with the group of elderly people. The young people involved all said they were really nervous to start off with, but once they got going, they enjoyed it and were happy to have completed what they’d planned to do and could really understanding the benefits of delivering a session such as this. As one of the group said:

My heart rate went up when we started, and I felt really nervous but once my team started talking I soon felt ok and managed to do it. A month ago I don’t think I would have even turned up.

As with the Weston group, the Brighton group all had a mock interview session and received feedback from people outside of the programme, this will be invaluable in the weeks and months to come as they apply for jobs for real. Finally in order to get them out of their comfort zone and stretch themselves and learn new skills, the group went climbing at a local indoor climbing centre. It was clear how far the group had come, by the willingness to give the activity a go and the confidence and resilience shown to overcome setbacks on the walls.  



There has been no shortage of action over the last few weeks for the group in Banbury either. In order to assist with their teamwork and leadership skills, athlete mentors Anna Turney & Liz Cann took the group to an escape room to see how they perform under pressure. While being great fun, it also prompted some interesting learnings for the group:

If we had had a leader we would’ve communicated better.

It was great fun. Everyone got really involved. If we had taken more time to listen to each other we would’ve been more effective.

At the next meeting the group went to an indoor ski school where Paralympic skier Anna Turney was in her element and showed the group how it was done. For many of the group it was the first time they had done anything like this and despite a few falls along the way, they all got well out of their comfort zone and learned a new skill.  Following the time on the snow there was a group chat after the session and some of the group spoke about how they had to just ‘get back up and get on with it’ when they fell over. This led to a discussion around how this principle is applicable to life in general and how they can apply this to their own life.



As with all the other groups, social action planning and learning new transferable skills has been the order of the day. The young people visited a high ropes centre where they were well and truly taken into their 'stretch' zone and got to experience something none of them had ever done before. Taking the group somewhere different enabled some of them to open up in a way they hadn't before which really helped the group to bond and work together. 

Sessions have continued with a mixture of physical activity and 'classroom' based sessions with lots of top quality planning being done ahead of their social action project in the weeks to come.


It's been amazing to read and hear about some of the successes on the programme, which is only about half way through currently. Stories such as Morgan's, who, inspired by the athletes on the programme, is already thinking about a career as a personal trainer.

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