There is a great need in Aberdeen to reach young people who are disengaged from education and employment, and who are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. There are numerous organisations doing invaluable different in the city to provide opportunities and empower these young people, and at Choices we believe that we are enabled to do the best work we can when we collaborate with these organisations.
We had the privilege of such a collaboration with the Princes Trust in earlier this year. Based at the Aberdeen Foyer, the Princes Trust run their ‘Team’ program for 16-25 year olds, with the aim of building confidence, boosting employability and gaining work experience. We were asked to provide a workshop on the topics of self-esteem, relationships, peer pressure and assertiveness. Learning to cultivate high self-esteem and assertiveness is hugely valuable both in the workplace and wider life, and we were keen to help the group to develop these skills.
Since most of our work is with the 11-16 age bracket, it was an exciting challenge to design a session for an older age group. The group were eager to talk about their strengths and weaknesses, and were able to open up about how hard they sometimes found it to think about their skills and achievements. We discussed the transitions between platonic and romantic relationships, and whether friendship was a good foundation for a romantic relationship. By the end of the session the group had a good grasp of assertiveness and were able to demonstrate how they would put this new skill into practice.
Feedback from the group was positive, and the group leader described the delivery as ‘informed, informative and engaging.’ The group were a pleasure to work with, and have provided us with good insight into how to tailor our schools programs to work with partner organisations. Furthermore, this has strengthened our links with the Princes Trust and the Aberdeen Foyer, and we look forward to doing more partnership work with these fantastic organisations in the future.