A YOUTH worker from the Isle of Man is hoping to further her career following an overseas development opportunity supported by the Prince’s Trust.
Aisha Howard, formerly a Participation Officer at the Department of Social Care, recently completed a work placement in Portugal, gaining hands-on experience of the country’s government-run children’s homes.
The visit provided an opportunity to share best practice and policy, particularly around residential care for looked-after children and young people.
The Isle of Man Prince’s Trust funded Aisha’s attendance at a pre-departure training event in the UK which provided a valuable insight into what to expect during the placement in Portugal.
Part of the preparations involved learning to speak Portuguese through a series of lessons via Skype.
‘This was useful for ordering dinner, but not so much for talking to the children,’ said Aisha who was able to overcome the language barrier through body language, dance and playing games with the children.
The work placement inspired Aisha to broaden her learning and skills and she is current studying human resource management and education studies at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Aisha embarked on the visit to Portugal with three other youth workers from the UK and spent time working at care homes and interacting with the children who live there.
She said: ‘We visited six homes in total and there was a question and answer session at each one, translated for us by a representative from the institution. The children were very interested in the Queen, football and guessing how old we were.
‘The placement expanded my knowledge of best practice around looked-after children, and on a personal level I felt valued that the Isle of Man Prince’s Trust was willing to support me. The help provided by the charity boosted my self-esteem and gave me the incentive to go on the placement as I was quite nervous about meeting new people and looking into another care system.’
Robin James, Chairman of the Prince’s Trust in the Isle of Man said: ‘Aisha’s experience is a fine example of how support from our charity can be a catalyst in improving the prospects of young people in the Island. Aisha is a very conscientious young woman and has used this opportunity to enhance her knowledge and acquire new skills that will stand her in very good stead for the future.’
Mr James added: ‘Whether it is funding for training, to enrol on a college course, or tools to start a trade apprenticeship, the Prince’s Trust can help eligible candidates to transform their lives for the better. More than that, support provided by the Prince’s Trust can boost self-esteem and confidence, and give individuals a renewed sense of purpose.’
The Prince’s Trust has been active in the Isle of Man for the past 25 years and provides a range of innovative programmes designed to assist 16 to 25-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed, or have been in trouble with the law.
The charity offers practical and financial assistance, and seeks to develop the key workplace skills, confidence and motivation to enable young people to move into employment, education or training.
One of the main channels of support provided in the Isle of Man is the Prince’s Trust Development Award scheme, which helps eligible individuals by providing a grant of up to £500.
Applications for funding from the Prince’s Trust can be made directly by a young person, or through referrals from other agencies and voluntary organisations.
In order to continue its valuable work in the local community, the charity relies on fundraising, corporate sponsorship and public donations.
For further information about the Prince’s Trust in the Isle of Man, to apply for a Development Award, or discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact Robin James on 495380 or Voirrey Kennaugh on 686057.
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