Overview Meeting Swansea

The third meeting of the FEIGHT project was organised by Adastra Cymru in Swansea, Wales (UK), between 25th and 26th March 2013. Participants from all the partners in the consortium except IVAM, Universiteit van Amsterdam, took part in the meeting, which was based in the seaside village of Mumbles on the edge of Swansea.

 

The first day was devoted to the transfer of innovation from Wales to the Netherlands, Turkey and Italy. This focused on the Peer Support method, which is the fourth solution proposed by FEIGHT for fighting early school leaving in VET.

 

For the morning session, Mr David Townsend Jones from Adastra introduced Mr Don Hawkins, the trainer from the Swansea Youth Offending Service (Swansea YOS), who was assisted by two YOS ‘modern apprentices’, Charlotte Hodgens and Rhodri Allcock. The training introduced the peer education method, adopted by YOS as the leading local partner of Gower College Swansea, the VET institution where the method was developed from 1999–2011.

 

The peer training included a short presentation, group exercises, group discussions, and questions and answers. The following main themes were covered:

 

  • Ice-breaker exercise
  • A short introduction to peer education
  • Helping young people at risk of offending, dropping out of school, etc
  • The qualities for successful peer working
  • Setting effective goals

 

 

The morning’s work was filmed by Adastra to provide a short video record of the training, which will be used both for dissemination and promotional purposes.

 

For the afternoon session, the participants travelled to the Swansea YOS Youth Justice Centre in Swansea. Here they divided into three groups, which took turns, in rotation, to participate in discussion-based guided tours to three facilities: the Youth Justice Centre, a multi-purpose centre for use by young people who are under the umbrella of the Swansea YOS; the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance centre, a training and support base for young offenders; and the DJ Studio, a mainstream project funded through the YOS, which aims to engage young people at risk (of offending or antisocial behaviour, dropping out of school, etc...) through music. All three facilities provide professionally supported opportunities for young people to experience informal education with Open College Network Wales accreditation.

 

The study visits to these facilities were intended to demonstrate working examples of peer support methods being used in actual practice to work with young people who have been identified as being at risk. The peer support methods help the YOS in its strategic aim to ensure social inclusion and opportunity for all young people in Swansea to participate in education, training and employment.

 

Adastra continued to film during the study visit, supplementing the footage shot during the earlier training and a series of interviews with several of the meeting participants.

 

Following the afternoon session, the participants visited the city centre of Swansea.

 

The business part of the third meeting was the subject of the second day, for which each partner organisation had prepared to lead a discussion on at least one topic in the day’s agenda.

 

The first set of topics concerned the various products to be published during the lifetime of the FEIGHT project:

 

  • Ms Eda Aksoy of DIMEM led a discussion about the Coaching Guide, which produced decisions about the main themes and content of the guide.
  • Mr David Townsend Jones of Adastra Cymru led a discussion about the Guidelines App. As a result, decisions were reached about the proposed treatment and content of the app.
  • Mr Ömer Kılınç of NIMEM led a discussion about the kit for VET schools, You’re welcome, versus arrivederci. Here again decisions were reached about its purpose and content.
  • Mrs Stefana Corsei of the Shalom Community led a discussion about the Quality Assurance procedures for fighting early school leaving in VET, which looked at the procedures and processes to be involved in this part of the programme of work.
  • Finally, Mrs Cristina Stefan of Quarter Mediation led a discussion about the Good Practice examples, which will be chosen and published by the consortium partners from relevant activities taking place in their own countries.

 

 

The next round of topics was mainly concerned with the management of the FEIGHT project:

 

  • Mr Marco Nieborg of Effective Webdesign presented various developments to the website and new functions recently added to the TeamLab platform used by the consortium.
  • Mr  Kees Siderius of Stichting IVN reviewed the finances and organisation of the project.
  • Mr Ömer Kılınç presented the proposed arrangements for the fourth meeting, which will be organised by NIMEM in Nazilli, Turkey, in October 2013.
  • Mrs Cristina Stefan reviewed the evaluation draft questionnaires provided by IVAM and suggested some changes, which were approved by the other participants. She will take responsibility for contacting IVAM to finalise the questionnaires.
  • Finally, Mrs Cristina Stefan reviewed all the tasks and deadlines agreed during the meeting and compiled them into a single summary, which will be uploaded to Teamlab.

 

 

After the meeting closed, the participants joined in a cultural visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire.

 

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