NW - CACT Bursary Fund
NW started volunteering with Young Greenwich at Hawksmoor Youth Club in November 2020 as part of a compulsory work placement for her college course. Young Greenwich is a youth service CACT delivers on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
All CACT staff and volunteers need to be DBS checked to work for the organisation. Prior to starting her work experience with Young Greenwich NW had no official paperwork (provisional driving license or passport) which is required in order to gain a DBS.
NW comes from a low-income household with one of her parents being a carer to the other. This challenge could have deterred NW away from volunteering with CACT but instead, due to the support we were able to give her, she has gone on to not only volunteer for CACT but also complete paid work.
Through its bursary fund, CACT helped NW apply for and obtain a birth certificate which was required to gain a provisional driving license. Staff aided NW in her application for both her birth certificate and provisional driving license which was paid for using the bursary fund.
NW was successful in getting her DBS and subsequently volunteered with the Inters session with young people aged between 8-12, as well as completing administrative tasks.
Young Greenwich supported NW as much as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic making sure to praise her work and set her small goals.
When the nation went into lockdown, NW was forced to continue her studies remotely from home which proved challenging as she suffers from anxiety. This affected her so much that she considered leaving her college course and not continuing her studies.
Hawksmoor staff members helped NW to manage her anxiety by developing her confidence, helping her to understand when to take time out and finding hobbies to reduce her anxiety such as listening to music.
During the lockdowns, NW continued to volunteer with Young Greenwich by working with the staff to deliver online youth club sessions via Zoom. She was encouraged to work alongside the experienced youth workers to help her develop her experience and confidence before then independently leading sessions.
Due to coming from a busy household, NW appreciated the independence and space that Hawksmoor Youth Club offered her. She was able to use a quiet space within the youth club to work on her college course without distractions from her three younger brothers, using a laptop and printer provided by the youth service.
Outside of her volunteer work with CACT, NW signed up to the Peabody Young Ambassadors programme in May 2021 with five other young people. NW was the oldest member and showed excellent leadership skills when working together as a group.
In August 2021, NW took on some part-time work with CACT working at the Holiday Activities & Food programme. Acting as a bubble lead, NW was responsible for a group of 15 young people which boosted her confidence. This gave NW an opportunity to earn her own money, instead of having to rely on a small grant from her college and her parents who are on a low-income.
She has gained resilience and reduced her anxiety levels since working with Young Greenwich. She is now inspired and motivated to try new challenges and step outside of her comfort zone.
The support of Hawksmoor staff was instrumental in keeping NW engaged in her studies as well as helping her to manage her mental health and improving her workplace skills.
NW is still studying and has taken up regular part-time paid work at Hawksmoor Youth Hub and continues to volunteer a few days a week.
"CACT has helped me grow as a person. I have completed the following courses because of volunteering with CACT: First aid course and Food Hygiene.
"I am now confident and have signed up and was selected to be a Jack Petchey Achievement Networker member which is helping me develop my skills further outside of Hawksmoor Youth Hub."