Leeds ,

Young people’s employment hopes helped to ‘Get on Track’ thanks to innovative project

Leeds City Council, working together in partnership with the charity of legendary double Olympic champion, Dame Kelly Holmes, are giving young people in long term unemployment a helping hand back into work as part of the ‘Get On Track’ project.

‘Get On Track’, which is designed and funded by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, provides the opportunity for young people aged 16-25 to take part in an eight week course to improve their chances of gaining employment, as well as accessing other opportunities to develop existing skills and learn new ones by obtaining valuable qualifications, such as sports coaching and first aid.

Former professional athletes also act as mentors throughout the programme, using their experiences of the highs and lows of their careers to relate to the young people on the course and discuss issues such as nutrition, budgeting and substance misuse.

Sessions on confidence building, interview and presentation skills, improving C.V writing, as well as taking part in a community based volunteer programme, are also on offer to support young people. Previous volunteer programmes undertaken have included working with young people with visual impairments, supporting a sports day for young people with disabilities and clearing an area on the Leeds’ canal.

Similar opportunities on the ‘Get On Track’ programme have meant young people who have previously participated, have successfully secured positions in youth work, social care, various apprenticeship roles and volunteer placements with organisations such as the St Giles Trust and Canopy Housing. Moreover, after completing the programme, many of the young people have increased their sport participation, regularly taking part in different sport activities.

To find out how to apply to participate on the ‘Get on Track’ programme, please contact Emma Woolford via email at: emma.woolford@leeds.gov.uk, or by phone on: 07891 275 284.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults said:

“The success of the ‘Get on Track’ programme is clear to see and I am delighted we are looking to welcome our next intake of enthusiastic young people, helping not only to develop their skills and obtain valuable qualifications, but also to increase their self-confidence, improving their chances of gaining employment.

“Working with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is a brilliant opportunity and I look forward to hearing of more successful stories from young people in the future and wish the new intake the best of luck as they start this fantastic programme.”

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said:

“We are working extremely hard to find new and innovative ways to provide opportunities for young people to access employment, education and training opportunities, and I am pleased to say that working closely with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, ‘Get on Track’ has already achieved some very positive results.”

Notes to editors:

Dame Kelly Holmes became the first British female athlete in the 2004 Athens Olympics to win gold in both the 800m and 1500m. Kelly finished her illustrious career with twelve major championship medals from the Olympics, Worlds, Commonwealth Games and Europeans.

For further information regarding the wider ‘Get on Track’ programme and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, please see: https://www.damekellyholmestrust.org/the-trust/dame-kelly-holmes/

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk