Limesquare assists Children's Charity
When Maxine Warren received an email requesting assistance from the Milton Keynes based charity, Young People are our Future (http://www.youngpeopleareourfuture.org), she could be forgiven if she had never heard of them. Set up at the tail end of 2012, this is a new charity designed to provide young people with a unique interactive learning experience designed to educate them in some key skills to increase their confidence, personal safety, communication skills, ability to set and achieve goals, problem solving skills and ultimately help them to avoid becoming a victim to bullying. The Charity has already helped over 8,400 young people in Milton Keynes between the ages of 5 – 16.
Setting up a new Charity and steering it through all the initial problems involved must be a daunting task, but one that Gary Payne, its Chief executive, has done extremely successfully with Young People are our Future. Gary has dedicated over 25 years to developing and deploying training solutions for numerous organisations and individuals, including Police and Military personnel. Gary says of his life, "Having grown up in difficult circumstances, I threw my education down the drain and spent a majority of my time either fighting, day dreaming or finding forms of amusement that would lead me nowhere. Embarrassed by my lack of grades and poor ability to complete basic reading and writing tasks, I made myself a promise to dedicate my entire adult life to learning and helping others to learn. It was inevitable that I would go onto developing a training solution for young people. I am a firm believer that having the right personal skills is as important as having great grades in school and I am driven by the goal of providing young people and their families with a unique set of life skills that will stay with them for life." [from Gary's Biography on Amazon]
The driving force at the centre of the YPAOF movement is the Life Skills for Children personal development course, a preventative measures course, which helps young people who are being bullied, have poor communication skills, lack confidence or self-esteem, have behaviour issues, or have no motivation or drive. The course is a powerful and proven solution to tackle bullying. It is so simple to deliver that some of the volunteers are young people within the team, who deliver the material to their peers through the "Kids teach Kids" initiative. These are children who have benefited themselves from the course, overcoming some serious personal hurdles, and now wish to help other children like them. One member of their "Kids teach Kids" team, Harry Dawkins, was recently awarded the Diana Award, for his dedication to helping the charity deliver the life skills course to other young people. This award was set up as a lasting legacy to Princess Diana's belief that young people have the power the change the world for the better.
Statistics from the first 7,000 young people who experienced the course demonstrate the success that the charity has enjoyed locally:
- 5,623 kids stated they feel more confident (80%)
- 6,786 kids felt safer (97%)
- 6,034 kids had better communication skills (86%)
- 5,728 kids had better problem solving skills (82%)
- 6,278 kids could set & achieve goals (90%)
Due to these great results, the Charity have been asked to attend the Youth Education exhibition in Birmingham on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February to present the Life Skills course and showcase eight members of the "Kids teach Kids" team, who will present their stories and how the life skills course has changed their lives.
This represents a great opportunity for the Charity to expand and continue its fantastic results, but for a new Charity, the transport costs of attending such an event are a serious concern, and so Gary Payne decided to contact Limesquare to see if we could help. Maxine was happy to help out such a worthy cause by letting him have a 9 seat VW Shuttle bus for the 2 days, thus allowing them to participate in this event. Gary gave Limesquare a "super thank you for your offer of support over this important weekend for us. Through the kind support of Limesquare we are able to transport members of our "Kids teach Kids" to and from the exhibition. Your assistance will be supporting these eight young people on their journey to becoming successful members of their communities."
By Stephen Barnard