Working with Gwalia Support services
Over the next two years the Trust is making funds available to help young people who use Gwalia’s support services to develop their skills and talents, to enable them to become more employable. This will include developing basic literacy skills, putting together a CV, volunteering in the local community or getting basic qualifications.
Encouraging and empowering young people to develop a business idea or a Social Enterprise is a great way of developing essential and transferable skills e.g. self-confidence, motivation, team work and developing a business plan.
'Ouside the Box'
In 2013 the Trust supported two of Gwalia's youth projects in Swansea as they created a social enterprise to help young people gain business skills and an appetite for success.
‘Outside the Box’ is a joint venture between Swansea Foyer and Cam Nesaf and is being led by 15 young people aged 16-25, most of who have experienced or been at risk of homelessness.
With the assistance of Cyrenians Cymru’s Dragon Arts and Learning Centre, based on Morfa Road in Hafod, young people from the projects have hand-crafted different types of jewellery and glassware, including unique necklaces, bowls and lamps. They were supported with advice from local artists Jess Duncan, Juliet Rodgers, Sian Stanford and Sam Howard – a tutor at the Dragon Arts Centre.
The range, made using recycled glass, was sold at the Swansea Christmas Market during December 2013 and Uplands Market early in the New Year.
Profits made through sales of the jewellery and glassware are being re-invested into the business and other opportunities for the young people involved. A portion of profits will also be put towards relieving homelessness and rough sleeping in Swansea.
Overall, the process of starting a business has provided the young people with new skills such as developing a business plan and conducting market research. Local marketeer Caroline Rees held a marketing masterclass for the 'Outside the Box' team and there has been on-going peer support from Us Unltd - itself a social enterprise, led by young people in Flint, north Wales.
This is an exciting and contemporary venture for the young people of Swansea Foyer and Cam Nesaf, who are working together to develop ideas for businesses that make a difference, not only for themselves but for individuals throughout Swansea who have experienced homelessness. Many of the young people in the projects have been affected by homelessness, so it was important to them that the enterprise makes a difference for others who have and will experience homelessness in Swansea.
I’ve really enjoyed being part of this project. I have learnt new skills and gained a lot of experience which hopefully I will be able to put to use in future jobs. All of us at 'Outside the Box' are really excited to sell our products on the Christmas market and hopefully to continue the project into the New Year.