19 April 2017
Zip-lining across a river, kayaking and assisting the fire service on an exercise were all part of a day’s work, when Paul Smith from Portreath completed a 12 week Prince’s Trust programme.
He was supported by his Shared Lives South West carer Terry Reynard who said the scheme has helped Paul blossom.
“He was really nervous and it took some effort to get him to go,” she said.
“I’m really proud of him completing it. I’ve seen the change in him and he’s much more confident.”
Paul agreed that the he was chuffed to complete all the challenges.
“It was a really good experience and I was given a certificate at the end,” said Paul.
He’s now putting his new found confidence to good use and is applying for admin jobs, and is working with Employability Cornwall.
“It’s all good experience to fill in the forms and go for interviews,” said Paul.
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a personal development scheme delivered by Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service in partnership with Adult Education.
The aim is to increase confidence, motivation and skills and thereby enable young people to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships.
Throughout the scheme, the participants take part in fundraising activities to allow them to complete a community project, two weeks of work experience, an action packed residential on Dartmoor and their ‘final challenge’ week during which they fund-raise to give disadvantaged members of the community opportunities they wouldn’t normally have.
All those who complete the programme achieve a Prince’s Trust qualification in Level One Teamwork, Communication & Employability Skills.
As part of the course, he worked with his team of 12 people at Sandy Hill Academy, St Austell, painting fences and gardening and took part in fund-raising activities at a local Sainsburys supermarket.
They also went to the Eden Project to learn about fruit and vegetables. He also completed a two week work placement at New County Hall.
“I was doing postal work sorting the mail,” he said.
“It’s all good experience when I try to get a job.”
One of his favourite activities was helping the fire service when they tested their skills using special equipment to cut open a car.
“I really enjoyed it all,” he said.
“The kayaking and first aid was also fun.”
Paul moved in with Terry in October 2012 and has become part of the local community thanks to the Portreath Pantry. It was the brainchild of Terry and her friend Kim who runs a nursery and training company at Heartlands, where Paul volunteers.
She started the cafe three years ago with the aim of bringing other Shared Lives carers and service users together and get them involved with cooking, customer service and much more.
“I wanted to break down barriers and for people to see people’s abilities,” she said.
“We hosted it in the church hall and had about 50-60 people come along when we open it once a month.
“It’s purpose is about friendship and acceptance.
“ We are thinking of relaunching it and doing something fresh and new.”