After going from A-Levels right into lockdown, The Outdoor Partnership helped Gwion navigate a world of work that was at a standstill.
The Outdoor Partnership, through the Active Inclusion Fund, which is managed by WCVA and supported by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government, help people enter onto a journey towards employment through outdoor activities.
For Gwion, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
STEPPING OUT INTO LOCKDOWN
‘I found myself out of work having finished my A-levels during the first Covid lockdown in 2020, and with no real chance of any work on the horizon, my self-confidence was low.’
As large chunks of the country’s workplaces shut due to lockdown, opportunities for work were few and far between, especially indoors, but this is where the Outdoor Partnership stepped in.
The aim is for participants to improve confidence, health and well-being while at the same time gaining essential skills and qualifications required by employers. The belief is that an active lifestyle brings improved motivation and employment opportunities, and at a time when contact indoors is limited, this can be invaluable.
HELP TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS
‘The support I received was amazing’ Gwion said ‘Everything was arranged for me, and all the kit and equipment I needed was there. All I had to do was turn up!
‘We were given expert advice and guidance on mountain safety, learnt some very practical skills like how to read a compass, and had lots of opportunities to discuss various work options.’
Obviously, getting people outside in the fresh air has a positive impact on wellbeing for many, but a key part of The Outdoor Partnership’s AIF project is also making participants more employable, where they also succeeded with flying colours, as Gwion found.
‘The project has had a hugely positive impact on me. Soon after finishing I was able to get a job with a local flooring contractor through the Kickstart scheme.’
It wasn’t just the immediate employment outcome which Gwion benefitted from though – it also helped him make some real decisions about his future.
ON TO THE NEXT ADVENTURE
‘It’s made me think I’d like to develop a career in the outdoor activities sector and I’ve been accepted to Bangor University to start an Adventure Sports Science degree, which starts in September.’
‘The project has given me a lot of confidence, not only in my skills to navigate and spend much more time outdoors, but also in my every day life. I owe a lot to it.’
‘Not only was it fun and I learnt a lot, but the experiences I enjoyed have helped me make my mind up about which direction I’d like to go with my career.’
MORE ABOUT ACTIVE INCLUSION
The Active Inclusion Fund provides grants for projects in Wales that help disadvantaged people get back into employment.
Unemployment is on the rise in Wales, but projects funded by WCVA’s Active Inclusion Fund are fighting back.
Find out more about the fund at the website.