Thousands of young people across Wales have been supported to reach their full potential through The Prince’s Trust Cymru’s Achieve programme, thanks to a multi-year partnership with the Hodge Foundation, who have invested more than £3m to date.
The Achieve programme, launched in 2016, provides a unique offering for 11 to 19 year olds, particularly those who are low in confidence or at risk of not reaching their full potential. The early-intervention programme enables a practical approach to learning which supports young people who might not thrive as well in traditional academic settings to develop their skills and gain qualifications.
Achieve is mostly delivered as a club, in schools or in other educational facilities, throughout the academic year. Activities for young people on the programme are varied and include delivering community projects in their local area, working as a team, wellbeing and nutrition sessions, confidence building sessions and plenty of outdoor activity. Through Achieve, young people can interact with English and Maths, as well as other subjects, through alternative methods that are more accessible to them and the way they learn.
The Prince’s Trust Cymru is currently working in partnership with more than 90 local schools and education providers – but it wants to grow this further. It has also been able to offer additional enrichment opportunities for young people, more training for Achieve Advisors, and the translation of some materials into Welsh, through the partnership.
Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru said: “Our mission is to give every young person in Wales the chance to succeed. The generous funding that we receive from The Hodge Foundation is vital to that mission. It helps us to transform thousands of lives and for us to ensure that every individual young person we work with thrives and reaches their full potential.”
Alfie, 16, from Wrexham is a young carer for his mother and is extremely dedicated to providing the support she needs.
“I do anything I can to help my mum. It is tough some days, but I have learned so much from having this role in my house, and it has shown me the importance of projects that support others in the community.”
As with any young carer, it was difficult for Alfie to have the same kind of social life as his friends, and this impacted his school life as well. When Alfie first joined Ysgol Bryn Alyn he struggled with his literacy and numeracy. At the end of Year 9, he was told about The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme, a personal development programme for 11 to 19-year-olds which offers a practical approach to learning and supports young people to fulfil their potential.
Alfie said, “I was one of the shy kids in my classroom, so when one of my teachers recommended taking part in my school’s Achieve programme, I decided to give it a go.”
While taking part in the programme, Alfie approached the Headteacher and his Achieve Adviser to ask about organising a ‘Brave the Shave’ event for Macmillan Cancer Support. A number of his friends and family members had been affected by cancer, and he wanted to give something back to his local community and make a difference. 30 of his peers signed up to take part and four local hairdressers gave their time to the event. Alfie and his team managed to raise a staggering £2115.
Alfie added, “To raise over £2000 was just incredible! I would never have had the confidence to organise this event or even produce the advertising materials before I joined the Achieve programme.”
Alfie achieved a Level 2 certificate in Personal Development and Employability Skills through his time on the Achieve programme and is now embarking on a new journey at college, having secured a place to study painting and decorating. He is also a keen boxer.
He is equally keen to return to Ysgol Bryn Alyn this year to support new pupils on the Achieve programme, who have carried on his efforts this year by organising a Macmillan Coffee Morning.
“I can’t wait to share my story and show students that they can always do more than they may think possible.”