Page 1

In this issue Introduction

New Hubs, Consultations and Free Resources.

AM Visits Real

Opportunities The Deputy Minister for Skills takes part in a project induction.

Positive Outcomes

Some positive stories from Bridgend and Merthyr young people.

Social Opportunities Torfaen start a weekend activity group.

Training & Events

A list of upcoming project training and events.

Regional SEN Transition To Employment Project Newsletter

February 2012 It’s time for the February edition of our newsletter… where did January go? Real Opportunities is almost fully rolled out now with the Swansea team up and running and the Neath Port Talbot team put in place last week! With some hub teams now approaching their first birthday lots of great things are happening for our young people, and as ever lots of exciting developments are also happening outside of the project. Back in November the newsletter included information about how to contribute your opinions to the Welsh Specific Equality Duties, aimed at making the Equality Act 2010 really work in Wales. Based on the information gathered in the survey and during workshops, Welsh Government has now produced draft potential emerging equality objectives which were discussed and approved on January 10th. Welsh Government are now looking for feedback to help them decide how to progress further. To read the draft emerging equality objectives and to give feedback go to wales. Welsh Government is also seeking views on new regulations concerning breaks for carers with disabled children in Wales. Under Section 25 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008, the Government introduced a new statutory duty on local authorities. This will assist individuals who care for disabled children to continue to do so, or do so more effectively, by giving them a break from their caring responsibilities. To view the draft regulations go to breaks. You will also be able access best practice guidelines and give your feedback here. The deadline for comments or responses is 28th March 2012. There has also been a host of fantastic free resources launched recently by a range of organisations which would assist in transition planning and youth inclusion. National Parks published a new series of guides that outline accessible activities within the National Parks. The guides are available in a number of formats, including large print with photos and an audio file, and in both English and Welsh. They can be accessed at the Access for All section of National Parks’ website www. Radar, the disability rights campaigning network, has also launched the latest edition to the ‘Doing Life Differently’ series of self-help guides entitled ‘Doing Transport Differently’. The guide features sections on planning a journey, how to use different types of public transport and how to get assistance when travelling. You can download the booklets at Lastly, check out the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) report called ‘My own Place’ which provides a useful ‘Housing Pathway’ to support young people and families with housing opportunities and decisions. Go to ownhousing to access the document Laura Davies Project Information Officer

AM visits J

Real Opportunities

eff Cuthbert AM, Deputy Minister for Skills attended a Real Opportunities Project Induction on January 16th 2012 in Pontypridd to find out more about our project and how it works!

breakdown of the work Sadie has completed since joining the project which gave the minister and other attendees a great practical example of the project in work. The team from Elite also gave a presentation about their involvement with the project, and shared the stories of some of the many young people they have been working with. One of whom, David LtoR David Preece, Jeff Cuthbert, Tracey Jones and Sadi Jones Preece, who has now Project Inductions are offered as part of the secured paid work thanks to his placement with Real Opportunities programme of training and Elite was also present to share his experiences. delivered by project training officer, Hannah The Minister gave the introduction to the day and Cox. The Deputy Minister for Skills attended the expressed his delight at being associated with induction intended to encourage collaboration the project and discussed the importance of the with teachers, families and other professionals kind of work that Real Opportunities is doing. He in Pontypridd YMCA, Rhondda Cynon Taff. The was eager to hear from the young people and felt minister took part in the interactive session to look their presence during the event demonstrated at the values of the project and the work of the that the project was working in conjunction with staff involved. Project Manager, Angela Kenvyn its young people, working with them and for discussed the project structure and provided them to plan for their future, which he said was an overview of the workings of the project and absolutely essential in the transition to adulthood, Tracy Lloyd, Family Liaison Coordinator for particularly so for our disabled young people. the Rhondda Cynon Taff hub team supported Sadie Jones, a young person on the project to To arrange a Project Induction for parents, make a presentation of her experiences of the professionals and/or teachers in your area project. Sadie shared her digital story during the contact Hannah Cox at realopportunities@ presentation which showed some of her Person or on 01792 Centred Planning work, the support she’s 817224. received from the Hub Team, Elite and Action for Employment and feedback from the staff that now work with her at the Edith May Day Centre, as well as from the staff from the hub team and employment support agencies. Tracey gave a

PositiveOutcomes E

very week Real Opportunities teams across south Wales are helping young people with Severe and Complex Needs, a Learning Disability or Autistic Spectrum Disorder to achieve personal goals. These small changes and achievements are helping young people build confidence and skills for independent living in the future And they’re having fun!

Connor Bounds aged 16 from Merthyr has been working with the Real Opportunities hub team in Merthyr since August 2011.

to run the 5km in 33:56 dressed as Bananaman (of course). The boys raised more than £120 for the minibus appeal for Greenfield School in Merthyr.

Since then he has accessed Psychology Support from Tracey and has worked closely with Family Liaison Worker Tim to develop his Person Centred Plan. Connor has completed his OCN in keeping safe and has now progressed onto accessing Youth Inclusion support and is hoping to complete a work experience placement with Elite. Since working with Tim, Connor has developed and expressed an interest in jogging, which he uses as a positive coping mechanism. To further encourage and develop Connor’s interests, Tim suggested entering a fun run. Connor decided to run the Nos Galan 5k road race in Mountain Ash, and started working hard in training with Tim in the weeks leading to the race; he also joined a local ‘teen’ gym which he hopes to continue attending. Conner wanted to run the race for charity and decided to put the money raised towards a new minibus for his school! Unfortunately due to family circumstances Connor was unable to run the race on the night, but is still interested in running a race and will be running the Sports Relief mile in March instead. After all the hard work put in Tim didn’t let the side down and still went on

Tim as Bananaman after his run!

Hannah Peacock from Bridgend has been working with the Bridgend Real Opportunities team since May 2011. Since May, Hannah has successfully completed OCN’s in Confidence and Travel Training and has been getting lots of great support from Sarah and David, the teams Psychology Support and Independent Living Skills Workers. Hannah has now progressed onto working with the Youth Inclusion WorkerTanya. Tanya worked closely with Hannah to complete a ‘PCP Passport’, a PCP tool that the team uses to get an idea of what young people’s likes and dislikes are. Hannah identified that she had an interest in cooking which she did at school.

After speaking to Hannah’s mum, Tanya and Hannah planned to pursue cooking in Hannah’s leisure time, and Tanya is now supporting Hannah attend a cookery course on a Wednesday evening in the local comprehensive school. The course focuses on healthy eating and teaches basic cookery skills. So far Hannah has made bread, fish pate, ratatouille and fresh pasta all from scratch! As well as learning great cookery skills, Hannah is also making lots of new friends, takes great pride in taking her cooking home and is having a fabulous time. Tanya also thinks it’s great because she gets to take tea home every Wednesday and doesn’t have to cook!!! Tanya hopes that she’ll be able to help Hannah transfer the skills she’s learning to her home life and will continue to attend cooking classes independently in the future.

Hannah at her cooking class.

Social Opportunities T

he Torfaen hub team has identified that some of their young people on the project would benefit from some weekend social activities, and being a team made up of very social and fun staff they have decided to start taking a small group of young people out on the weekend for a few hours, with the aim of doing this once a month.

young people said they enjoyed their cinema trip and would really love to do something with the group again.

The group is aimed at young people who do not have access to any leisure or social activities during the weekend or those who may benefit from socialising with other young people. Last week the team started their weekend programme of activities by taking a group of four participants to the cinema. They were dropped off by their parents who also paid ÂŁ1.50 for the movie, which was an early bird weekend special offer, and the staff went for free as carers. The main aim of the group is to give the young people an opportunity to make friends, socialise and hopefully gain confidence to access social activities independently in the future. The team are looking into a variety of cheap activities that the young people can access themselves, including things like going to the park for a game of cricket or going for a walk. All the

The group at the cinema

Training & Events

To book onto any of the following training events or seminars contact the information and training team at for a booking form. For further information regarding the events listed please contact Hannah at

Day 5 of 5 Day PCP

Introduction to PCP

Project Induction

Multimedia Workshop

Date: 27th February 2012 Time: 10am – 3pm Venue: Manor Park Country House, Clydach For: Staff on the Course

Date: Time: Venue: For:

Date: 29th February 2012 & 8th March 2012 Time: 4pm - 5:30pm Venue: Trinity Fields School & Resource Centre For: Trinity Fields Teachers

Date: Time: Venue: For:

19th March 2012 10am-4pm Llety Cynin, St Clears All in Swansea/Carms/Pembs 29th March 2012 11am-3pm Forge Fach CRC, Clydach All Hubs and Young People

Project Induction

Planning for the Future Network

Date: Time: Venue: For:

Date: 14th March 2012 Time: 10am-1pm Venue: Forge Fach CRC, Clydach For: PCP/Family Liaison/ILS All Hubs

28th March 2012 10am - 1pm Orbit Centre, Merthyr All in Merthyr

To get your story in the newsletter, or for more information contact Laura on 01792 817224 or at 8

February Newsletter 2012  

Regional SEN Transition to Employment Project February Newsletter.