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‘It makes us extremely proud’: Joy at young people’s ‘staggering’ transformation during 12-week self-discovery journey

A residential trip held as part of the Inspire Suffolk Prince's Trust team programme   Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

A residential trip held as part of the Inspire Suffolk Prince's Trust team programme Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

They have been on a rollercoaster journey of self-discovery which is set to change their outlook on life forever.

And now young people have been congratulated for facing their fears to complete a tough 12-week Prince’s Trust challenge – which they hope will lead them onto greater things.

Young people’s charity Inspire Suffolk has been running the 12-week personal development programme in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Sudbury, Colchester and Lowestoft to help youngsters aged between 16 and 25 build their confidence.

The course is designed to take them out of their comfort zone with an action-packed residential trip described as “fundamental to overcoming challenges, facing their fears and learning how to work with others”.

But it is also designed to bolster their skills and CVs so are ready to apply for opportunities in employment, education or training, with a two-week work experience placement to help them gain real-life experience.

The Prince's Trust team programme Stowmarket community project at the Museum of East Anglian Life   Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLKThe Prince's Trust team programme Stowmarket community project at the Museum of East Anglian Life Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

One team member said: “Some of us find working in a team hard but we have been able to overcome that by helping each other.

“We realised that sometimes tasks might take a little longer but as long as we work as a team, we will always get there in the end.”

The wider neighbourhood also benefited from the youngsters’ work, as the groups organised community projects to benefit people where they live.

The Stowmarket group helped the Museum of East Anglian Life clear a space ready for new animals for a project in the New Year, while the Ipswich team created a resource encouraging people to explore outdoor spaces to support their mental health.

The Prince's Trust team programme Stowmarket community project at the Museum of East Anglian Life   Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLKThe Prince's Trust team programme Stowmarket community project at the Museum of East Anglian Life Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

The programme culminated with a graduation presentation, where participants spoke to family, friends and local employers out the impact the Prince’s Trust course had on their lives. And organisers say the programme has helped young people secure jobs, apprenticeships, college courses and volunteering opportunities.

Terry Baxter, chief executive of Inspire Suffolk, said: “It really does make us extremely proud to hear the young people involved in our programmes talk about how their lives have improved and what they have gained with us.

“The transformation that our participants make in the 12 weeks is staggering and shows the vital impact our work has for our local young people.

“We wish them the best of luck in the next steps that they have planned.”

Inspire Suffolk’s next group of Prince’s Trust team programmes begin in January 2019 in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Stowmarket, Clacton and Haverhill.

Find out more at www.inspiresuffolk.org.uk

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