Jun 2015 / Learners

Six unemployed women from the Caerphilly Borough experienced a forest-based learning adventure where they learnt key team building and communication skills to help improve their employability and celebrate adult learning.

The women spent the morning at Ynys Hywel, an outdoor activity centre set in the Sirhowy Valley Country Park and belonging to Welsh training provider ACT. From monkey bars, to mud runs and tunnels, the women were tasked with successfully completing a gruelling obstacle course within a set time.

They all worked together as a team to ensure everyone finished each obstacle whilst reaping the rewards of outdoor learning including, enhancing their personal skills, increasing physical health and improving their self belief and confidence.

Most of the women have been unemployed for over 6 months and are signed up to Being Greener, LIFT’s skills experience programme – a Welsh Government programme aimed at getting people back into work. The programme focuses on those who face the greatest barriers to becoming employable, such as young single parent households, households in which the adults have few or no formal qualifications, people with weak employment records and individuals with disabilities.

Deb Jones, a LIFT programme participant said: “The day was so much fun and I really enjoyed working as a team. This place is amazing and would love to come back.”

The women came along with three LIFT programme mentors including Andrew Griffiths, Rachel Renton and Shirley Lillywhite.

Andrew Griffiths is a Senior LIFT Mentor. He said: “I found the day to be a great experience for all. I was really pleased to see the group working as a team, encouraging each other and cheering each other on all the way through the course. The day was a great experience to help this group raise their confidence, self esteem and work together” 

ACT’s Managing Director, Andrew Cooksley said: “The LIFT programme is such a worthwhile programme that helps people back into employment and improves many people’s lives. I am delighted that we are working in partnership with them to deliver employability training with a difference. I am very pleased to hear how much the women benefited from the morning they spent at Ynys Hywel.”

He continued: “Our Ynys Hywel outdoor activity centre is the perfect backdrop for learning and we are looking forward to celebrating Adult Learners’ Week which runs from 13 to 19 June.”

Today marks the start of Adult Learners’ Week, an annual campaign running from 13th to 19th June which celebrates and promotes adult learning opportunities and aims to raise awareness of the growing number of older people who are looking to develop new skills.

Ynys Hywel offers tailor made programmes that incorporate the development of skills that will take learners of all ages into employment, helping them learn to live and work with others or gain new interests and knowledge for a better life. For more information visit www.ynyshywel.co.uk/