Youth Shedz Monday 16 April 2018

A new initiative, Youth Shedz, which aims to provide a safe place for young people, to proactively engage and develop new skills is due to open its doors in Denbigh this month.

Youth Shedz

A new initiative, Youth Shedz, which aims to provide a safe place for young people, to proactively engage and develop new skills is due to open its doors in Denbigh this month. Based on a similar concept to Men’s Sheds, the Youth Shedz will work closely with Men’s Sheds, She Sheds and Veterans Sheds in the locality.

In January 2017, Scott Jenkinson, of 4:28 Training was commissioned by Grŵp Cynefin to work with a group of young people from Yr Hafod, a supported housing project for young people aged between 16-24. Always looking for an opportunity to promote activity based, experiential learning, Scott challenged the group of young people to come up with a solution for anti-social behaviour and lack of engagement amongst young people. The first step was for the youngsters to reflect on their own lives in the town of Denbigh and research into anti-social behaviour, the costs to society and the contributing factors.

As a result of this research, the young people came up with the concept that they needed a space to positively engage in something productive, a place to be listened to and a place to learn new skills in an environment surrounded by positive role models. The seed was sown and the Youth Shedz project was born, the first of its kind in Wales. From the very beginning the young people have been at the centre of the project, ensuring ground-up co-production resulting in a young person’s project that is created, developed and ultimately be run by the young people.

The first Youth Shedz project is being launched in Denbigh but the vision is that every town in Wales will eventually have their own project, Mair Edwards, Community Initiatives Manager at Grŵp Cynefin said, “Young people need to be listened to, encouraged and even sometimes challenged and we hope that the Youth Shedz will enable young people to engage and recognise a positive bright, prosperous future for themselves. It will also help young people develop resilience, improve confidence and self-esteem, reduce social isolation and promote positive mental health and well-being.”

In parallel it is hoped the project will provide volunteering opportunities for the wider community that are economically inactive or who have complex barriers to employment. These adults will be offered training and support to develop skills and mentor young people attending the Youth Shedz.

Following initial funding from Grŵp Cynefin the group of youngsters identified the space they wanted and went about to refurbish,decorate and fit out the space with work stations and work benches. They designed their logo and worked with a local graffiti artist to develop their new sign.

Young people will have the opportunity to undertake accredited bespoke Agored qualifications written by 4:28 Training in team working, volunteering, digital literacy, health and safety etc. Scott is currently in talks with Agored Cymru to create a Youth Shedz Young Person’s Award, Certificate and Diploma that can be delivered at the Youth Shedz ensuring that all Youth Shedz participants will have an opportunity to be accredited for the work that they do and gain nationally recognised qualifications.

Alongside the qualifications offered the Youth Shedz space will also become a hub for other positive engagement opportunities, such as promoting getting active by linking in with Sport Wales initiatives, Social Coaching and fund raising for local and global charities.

Already praised by local Assembly Member, Mark Isherwood, Youth Shedz is now ready to open with the space being used to develop a range of practical projects from woodwork, furniture restoration, jewellery, to bike repair.

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