Last week I had the pleasure of running a fitness circuit session at the Manchester Foyer. For those that aren’t familiar with the Manchester Foyer allow me to expand. It is a supported accommodation service for young people aged between 16-25 in need of housing who are actively engaged in education. Residents have access to in house key workers which assist them along their journey to independence. They achieve this through working on their personal development and social emotional well being. Majority of the young people living at the Foyer have faced or are currently facing challenges whether that be with family, relationships, self confidence etc.
So it made sense that we reach out to the Foyer and offer our services. After liaising and building a good working relationship with a member of staff there, we arranged an informal session with a few of the residents. The idea was to discuss what issues they think are most relevant to themselves and their peers in a informal relaxed environment accompanied with appetizing hot pizza’s that went down a treat.
Fitness / Self defense was one of the issues brought up by both male and female members of the group. They expressed how they would enjoy having the chance to learn how to defend themselves whilst simultaneously improving their health and fitness levels. I myself just happen to be a qualified fitness coach so it was a no brainier to supply the demand demonstrated. We arranged a suitable day and time for a pilot fitness circuit session to run within the Foyer which already has an area with some appropriate equipment.
The session was based around High Intensity Interval Training. You exercise at a station for a designated amount of time, have a short rest period and then move on to the next station until you have completed all stations. The stations varied from shuttle runs, kettle bells swings, boxing pad work, burpees etc. This type of training is excellent for raising the heart rate, burning fat, boosting metabolism, strengthening the anaerobic and aerobic systems whilst offering a mixed variety of various exercises.
Those that engaged in the session enjoyed the challenge and a few residents also came down to briefly observe what was happening as word of mouth spread throughout the living quarters. Using fitness as a tool to engage young people can be extremely beneficial as exercising is known to release endorphin’s within the body which are chemical hormones that give you a good feeling. It can help to reduce stress and its fair to say making the transition from your teens to early twenties can be a immensely stressful phase of life at times. Engaging in regular exercise provides a opportunity to socialize with other therefore combating isolation and improving interpersonal skills. Exercise can also improve your self esteem as over time physical changes to your body become more visible.
Overall the fitness session was a success and we plan making it a regular thing at the Foyer. Myself and colleague also plan to facilitate a number of different sessions over the up upcoming months there and elsewhere. They will focus on a wide range of social and personal matters young people would like to see change which fall under are project ‘You Can Be The Change’. For more info regarding my fitness training sessions check out the Champion In Action Fitness page on Facebook and Instagram.
“Health Is Wealth”
For some time now myself and colleges have frequently discussed that there needs to be a change in the community. A change that will allow local youth to develop into the highest versions of themselves. There is so much potential, gifts and talents within our youth that just needs to be guided out.
A lot of youth end up being misunderstood and frustrated which leads to being labeled and stigmatized. This along with distorted attitudes, lack of opportunities, limited youth services, being excluded from the education system and trying to survive in low social economical environments can all contribute towards pushing them down the path of antisocial behaviour.
With the current media attention on the knife situation in London that has tragically claimed so many young lives and injured or traumatized numerous others the question has to be asked. What change needs to be implemented to challenge the mentality that is fueling youth violence?
Obviously this change won’t happen overnight but rather through a long term strategical process. GIFT desires to contribute to early intervention that could possibly save lives through promoting personal development that will inspire a new generation of young leaders that will rise up from among the local community. A holistic approach is needed to cultivate these young leaders and we believe it needs to driven by the voice of the youth. Their voice is crucial in order for us to collectively advance towards solutions. As adults sometimes we have to admit we don’t always have the answers so we must listen to the youth as they are the ones dealing with all kind of complex issues that has lead us into the ugly predicament we currently face. Combative systems must be established and fortified throughout communities nation wide that risk losing their youth to senseless violence or the criminal justice system.
This holistic approach we have in mind will roll out under our new campaign of You Can Be The Change. You Can Be The Change will revolve around equipping our youth with transferable skills from problem solving to leadership to communication that will assist them to deal with local issues they want to change. Through the process they will raise their educational, career or enterprise aspirations whilst enhancing their physical and mental heath. The project also hopes to help our youth become ambassadors for their peers.
We look forward to developing our new project and hope to collaborate with local youth, parents, organisations, schools and colleges in order to achieve this positive change.
GIFT had the pleasure of being invited to Seetec’s Employability Day Event which took place on Friday 14th of July in Manchester city centre. Between 9:30 am and 1 pm GIFT, along with various other providers from across the city had the chance to let people from the wider community who are seeking employment know about accessing provisions they may be eligible for.
On the day GIFT partnered up with Highway Hope a community charity based in Levenshulme in order to provide a diverse range of valuable volunteering opportunities open to the public. Being able to speak to a wide range of people from various backgrounds who share a common objective in terms of accessing employment , improving their prospects of being hired and sustaining economic stability was simultaneously beneficial and rewarding. We was able to promote Talent Match for those aged between 18- 24 which is a Big Lottery funded program designed to help young people get into employment, education or training. Our supplementary school gained interest also as we came across a few individuals from teaching backgrounds who wanted to help assist children build foundation and study skills.
I believe all parties involved would deem the event productive and agree Seteec did a marvelous job hosting and organising it. We look forward to connecting with the individuals who found the services we offer appealing.
GIFT Academy Celebration and Achievements – July 2016
We celebrated our end of academic year achievements for the supplementary school which was attended by over 50 students, parents and teachers during the academic year.
Business Enterprise and Employability Training – January 2016 – April 2016
We ran a range of workshops throughout the year to provide opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to reflect on options, opportunities and realities of self-employment in order to better make informed decision as to whether to pursue this route to employment, develop their business plan, to identify options for how money might be raised to support it.
Gateway2Success – April 2016
A day designed to support young people in developing the best plan for their future through information workshops, discussions and motivational talks by representative’s local organisations supporting young people.
The event took place on Saturday 2nd April 2016 -Time: 11am – 4pm
Venue Brooks Building, Birley Fields, Manchester, M15
- Linking to employers to increase equality of opportunity, particularly for disadvantaged young people – work trials, traineeships and educational visits to employers