YMCA Derbyshire Power Pioneers serving meals for YMCA residents

18 August 2021

YMCA Derbyshire Power Pioneers

Our young people are developing their leadership skills by taking on higher responsibilities around the campus.

The ‘Power Pioneers’ project sees a different group of six young people given the opportunity to expand their skillset every four weeks.

They are given duties which include helping the accommodation and maintenance teams with tasks like printing, filing, cleaning and dealing with broken items around their living space.

Alongside that, they are given full responsibility for cooking and serving the evening meal for 30 residents two days a week from scratch.

Gaining life skills and building confidence

56% of young people that live with us have expressed struggling with their mental health. The aim of the Power Pioneers project is to give them the confidence to believe they can be leaders.

At the end of the four-week stint, the Power Pioneers will gain employment references, a first aid certificate and food hygiene certificate.

Samantha Morgan, Supported Housing Manager said:

“We want to give our young people the best chance in life after they leave our supported accommodation.

By being a part of this project, our young people have not only gained leadership experience but their confidence has grown hugely and they’ve had the opportunity to really feel valued.

For some, it’s a way to help them move on from complex trauma as they’ll have a distraction and reason to get up in the morning. It gives them a sense of belonging that they may not have had before.”

One of the young people at YMCA Derbyshire on the Power Pioneers programme said:

I became a Power Pioneer because I wanted to learn more life skills, like cooking, gardening and maintaining a home. I know this will help me as I progress on to living on my own in the future.

Moving forward, we will be continuing the programme and offering all residents the chance to sign up. The hope is that through their new found skills and confidence, they will go on to fulfil their potential and move to independent living and work.