Graduations galore as WeMindTheGap celebrates creating opportunities for young people in Flintshire
Four groups of young people from across Flintshire and Wrexham have celebrated completion of WeMindTheGap’s WeGrow programme recently.
Graduation celebrations for young women who have completed the charity’s WeGrow employment programme were held at Theatr Clwyd and Moneypenny and last week.
Friends, families, supporters, employer partners and funders gathered to celebrate these young people’s achievements, which have been made despite the challenges of the global pandemic.
While many charities and public services that serve young people have floundered since the first lockdown, the WeMindTheGap team have been more active than ever.
As many opportunities for young people dropped away following that first lockdown, and evidence in an increase in social inequality mounted, the charity realised that its programmes were more needed than ever before, and resolved to keep on offering them despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
The result is that the three programmes being run in 2019/20 were paused in March 2020 and then restarted as soon as restrictions allowed in August 2020, and four new programmes were launched in Autumn 2020 in Manchester as well as Flintshire and Wrexham.
Flintshire's 2020 & 2021 gappies graduation is underway here @ClwydTweets. Congratulations. We are so very proud of you. You all have such bright futures ahead!!#WeMindTheGap #SocialMobility pic.twitter.com/14VQ9Uhv7u
— WeMindTheGap (@WeMindTheGapUK) November 4, 2021
In addition the charity launched a new virtual programme – called WeDiscover – to engage with those many young people aged 16+ isolated by the pandemic.
This weeks’ celebrations were long-awaited for the 2019/20 graduates, whose graduation could not take place last year due to restrictions.
A year on from completing the programme, every single graduate from last year is now in full-time work or education: not only have these young people have moved from being ‘prisoners of circumstance’ to ‘pilots of their own lives’, they have become active contributors to the North East Wales economy and role models in their own right.
Every graduate remains a part of the WeMindTheGap family, which means that those who have yet to secure work or their next steps will continue to benefit from the love, care and support that that brings.
Rachel Clacher, Chair of WeMIndTheGap says:
“What a privilege to share in these young people’s journeys, especially in these unprecedented times.”
“The achievements of these many young people show that transforming young peoples’ futures with opportunities, care and love is an achievable reality with the right support, even in these Covid times.”
”And these celebrations are a testament not only to them, but to our team, commissioners, supporters, and allies who have worked so tirelessly to create these programmes.”
WeMindTheGap receives funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to allow us to grow our programmes, changing the futures of underserved young people.
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