Training and skills programmes for those aged 16 to 24

£25,000 funding awarded

When New Meaning Training chose to set up in Stratford-upon-Avon, it brought new opportunities for young people who aren’t necessarily ‘school-shaped’. New Meaning Warwickshire has 35 young people who are about to end this academic year, all with greatly improved prospects. Some are signing up for a second year, some going on to further education and many now combining their studies with part-time work.

All young people go on a journey and make progress with their learning, but some make quite profound transformations. One young man’s story demonstrates this. We’ll call him ‘James’. When we first met him, he wasn’t ‘college-ready’. His life was in disarray following a family relationship breakdown and his mum losing her house which had led to him sofa-surfing at 16 years old. 

Describing how James felt at this time he said, “I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life.” New Meaning set James up on their Work & Study programme. His tutor helped him to work out what he wanted to do, so together they worked on his Level 1 Maths qualification and helped him to arrange a work experience placement with Mechanics close to where he was staying at the time.

After the year with us James told New Meaning that “you have put me on the right track to college and without you I wouldn’t be any closer to the career I want, I understand now how to earn my own money and not to rely on anyone else ever again.” James has now gone on to further study at Stratford-upon-Avon College doing a Level 2 Motor Mechanics course.

Whilst James was at New Meaning, he built a great relationship of trust with his tutor and it is because of the delightful way in which he maintains contact with New Meaning this is possible to report that he has put his name down for a second year at the college to further his learning. He went from a young man whose life had been destabilised to someone who is building a skillset which will serve him for life. Things have continued to improve for James. He’s been able to gain a part-time job at a pub and now has his own room in a flat too.

The wonderful thing about the journey that young people go on is that it really isn’t about the destination and the story doesn’t end when they leave New Meaning. They just keep moving forward.