A Milford Haven-based initiative designed to inspire young people to realise their full potential and enter further education and employment, is seeking a hat-trick of national awards.
‘Routes to Opportunity’ – a partnership project between Pembrokeshire Youth services and Milford Youth Matters – has been running out of the town’s youth centre for five days a week, 50 weeks of the year since January, 2016.
It offers those aged between 16 and 25 an opportunity to gain accredited training and work-based experiences while linking skills development to the needs of local business.
Since its inception it has already established a café, bike workshop and an allotment and woodwork shop. The scheme has already collected two trophies this year – the Welsh Government Youth Work Excellence Award for Promoting Employability Skills and a Big Access award. Now it is in line for a third win.
Funded by the Big Lottery, ‘Routes to Opportunity’ has been shortlisted for a Keep Wales Tidy Sustainable Futures Award with the winner being announced at a ceremony in Cardiff.
“The latest shortlisting is an acknowledgement of the sustainable nature of the project” explained Nick Hudd, deputy manager of Pembrokeshire County Council’s community youth team.
“The scheme has been utilising reclaimed and recycled materials.
For instance, we have been growing our own food items for the café in our own allotment built on waste ground while old shipping containers have been modified to use as woodwork and bike maintenance workshops.
“Everyone is very excited and keeping our fingers crossed that the judges recognise all the hard work that the young people have put in.”