YouthGrow is one of Family Works’ most successful programmes. It is a holistic training programme operating within a working nursery and aims to equip young people with ‘life ready – work ready’ skills. Since it began in 2001, YouthGrow has made a real difference to the lives of almost 200 young people.
With another 35 participants involved in the programme this year, 2016 has been very successful in many ways. The team is looking forward to a number of students graduating in December, taking new life skills, knowledge and confidence with them as they progress to further study or employment.
A highlight for this year was the YouthGrow Open Day, 12 October. Visitors could take a student-lead tour of the learning facility, purchase locally grown plants, browse a white elephant sale, enjoy face painting or tuck-in to a sausage sandwich.
For the youth volunteering, the day was a real achievement. They were involved in preparing for and promoting the event, engaging with customers and packing up. It was a big challenge, and they all delivered. The event raised over $1,000 for the purchase of recreational and learning equipment, a very pleasing outcome.
Alongside the success of our students, this year has also been YouthGrow Garden Centre’s most successful in a commercial sense. The Garden Centre offers a comprehensive range of locally grown plants, particularly in herbs and vegetables, and is building a community of loyal customers. Profits from sales go back into supporting Presbyterian Support activity.