27 Feb

Firstly I would like to apologise that this blog is slightly late; we had a very busy first week back and on Friday I was at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for our Bridging the Gap assessment day. We are now heading into our 6th year of this project and it continues to go from strength to strength. It was a wonderful morning where some of our Year 13 students joined students from Manor Academy in Sale to have a tour of the placements on offer and to take part in some assessment tasks to test their suitability for the course. MMU contiunes to provide excellent placements for our students across all campuses. I have also recently met with the head of human resources for the university and we are working on introducing a new apprenticeship scheme for our students, where appenticeship jobs are ringfenced for students on our Bridging the Gap project.

Whilst we had a shorter week this week, it was still jam packed with fun activities for the young people at Horizons. Hayley’s group at the Learning Centre have been busy baking..

..much to Jean’s delight (she says the biscuits were delicious!)..

They’ve had some wonderful rebound sessions..

..enjoyed some VERY messy Art activities..

..dodged the rain at Ability Wheelz..

..and had some lovely, relaxing chilled out sessions too..

Shelly’s group have been busy baking too..

..and enjoyed a trip to the Learning Centre’s ILS for some relaxation..

This week was also a sad one for many of our young people as they said farewell to Sabha who has now left Horizons. The young people held a wonderful party for her where they enjoyed lovely food and great music. We will miss you, Sabha!

You may remember that yoga has become increasingly popular at Horizons – as you can see there is no shortage of young people eager to take part..

Jeff’s group had another great session at Ability Wheelz this week..

They were also in charge of party snacks for Sabha’s party and they did a fantastic job of shopping for yummy treats and, yes, they even managed to squeeze in a visit to McDonalds as a reward for their hard work..

I have also spent quite a bit of time at The Atrium café this week and it is wonderful to see how much our young people from across the Group are gaining from this venture. The young people continue to learn new skills and are becoming more confident when dealing with customers..

Now over to Active8 to update you on their work this term and to tell you all about our new ‘Man Club’!

Yet another action packed week for Activ8 as we stepped up our work in preparation for exam and qualification season. We have 4 boys aiming to complete their GCSE PE coursework which includes the practical section. As a result, we re-started our rugby league training on Wednesday and recapped our tackling from last term, looking to see what the group had remembered in terms of safety and correct technique. The retention was amazing and we quickly moved past using the tackling shields and on to some ‘wrestling’ type activities concentrating on strength, the aim being to turn your opponent from their front to their back. Some of the boys enjoyed this a little more than others and were rolling around in the mud as you can see..

Another part of our GCSE work looks at gym training. The boys have really embraced the gym this year and are in prime condition to deal with the course demands..

We have also upped our work on Sports Leaders in preparation for the group going onto deliver sports sessions in various places both in and outside of school to give them their experience hours.

You may have heard the exciting news about a new initiative at Medtia Square. Mr Greenway is starting our own New Bridge ‘Andy’s Man Club’ group on the site just for the young men in our organisation. ‘Andy’s Man Club’ was launched last year by Luke Ambler, a professional Rugby League player from Halifax after losing his brother in law to suicide..

‘Andy’s Man Club’ is a talking group, a place for men to come together in a safe environment to talk about issues or problems they have encountered or are currently facing. They can benefit from talking to others who have been in similar situations who can help with advice on how they have dealt with things. Luke came to Medtia before Christmas and our young people took part in a very positive workshop with him which you can read about here. You may already be familiar with the #itsoktotalk hash tag if you use Twitter or Facebook and the ‘OK’ sign used in the selfie campaign last year. Our New Bridge sessions start on Monday at 4pm in the Lumenus room at Medtia and we have already had lots of interest from students as well as staff wanting to help out..

For more information, you can find Andy’s Man Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the website here. We’re looking forward to bringing you news of our new group at Medtia Square, watch this space!

Finally, I would like to inform you that John and I are still looking into a residential visit for our young people aged 19-25 based at Medtia Square and we anticipate that we will be able to provide details by the end of the week – look out for letters home soon!

Daniel
Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

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