A Trip to the Little Apple!
Following over two years of restrictions and limited trips out, we finally managed to arrange a trip to the historic City of York for some of our young people, one of our volunteers and one of our staff members! Hurrah!
Keeping it Green
York is about an hour away from our HQ in Scarborough on the Yorkshire Coast.
Our team took the train from Scarborough to York and walked from the station to York Art Gallery and the Ni Art Studio.
A Bit About York
The city is a stunning place to visit with its incredible Gothic Minster, City Walls and many different attractions, such as the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Centre.
The purpose of the York visit was for our young people to become more involved in our craft sessions.
One of our amazing volunteers, Richard, has already showed our learners some art techniques and he also helps them to create their own, unique artwork.
The visit to York Art Gallery was to inspire and encourage our young people.
During the visit, Richard was supported by one of our staff members, Dave.
York is host to its own impressive Art Gallery which includes artworks from for some of the world’s best-known artists.
York Art Gallery
York Art Galleryhttps://www.yorkartgallery.org.ukis just a stone’s throw from the Museum Gardens and the River Ouse.
Our group toured the many different exhibits and collections.
One of the interactive artefacts was a typewriter!
Long before computers and smart phones, typewriters were commonplace.
Typing was one the early forms of word processing and some of us are so old we weretaught typewriting skills at school, gaining a qualirication through the Royal Society of Arts.
The Power of the Typewriter
Early typewriters were very heavy and were not powered by electric; they also introduced the idea of the QWERTY keyboard, which most smart phones still use today.
For those of us old enough to remember these contraptions, it is fascinating to see the reaction of a generation that’s maybe never seen or used one!
Hollywood actor Tom Hanks collects them and some of the early models are very valuable.
Ni Art Studio
The team then walked from the Art Gallery through York’s narrow, historic streets to the Ni Art Studio, Swinegate – https://www.nistudios.co.uk
This independent art shop and studio is an immersive experience for anyone with an artistic streak.
It gave our young learners the chance to see different types of art, created by everyday people.
After all, what is art?
Art is something that means different things to different people.
There’s no right or wrong answer and everyone can be creative.
What Did Our Learners Learn?
All our ‘excursions’ are designed to encourage our young people to learn several things.
This trip included using public transport, finding their way from the train station to the art gallery, understanding the importance of social skills and building up confidence outside of the home and their more formal learning spaces.
With the help of Dave and Richard, this trip was very successful in all these aspects.
And the Rest …
York is a lively, busy city yet is smaller than most.
This means visitors can walk between most of the attractions within a few minutes.
Our group were able to walk from the art gallery, around the exterior of the stunning York Minster, and past the stone masons’ area, where skilled artisans are helping restore and create some of the incredible stonework of this amazing building, parts of which are over 800 years old.
Their walk through the city also took them past the Tudor-style buildings near the Minster Yard.
After a busy day, the team returned home safe and sound to Scarborough.
We have some amazing volunteers who are involved with Futureworks NY and Furniture Works, both based in Scarborough.
We currently have two regular volunteers who have had varied careers and each bring their own unique skill sets to our team.
Our volunteer each come in one day a week and help with upcycling of furniture and with other artistic endeavours.
We truly value the experience and knowledge our volunteers bring with them.
Likewise we hope they also get lots from their sessions with our learners!
Did you know we’re taking part in the Kickstart scheme?
The Government initiative funds the creation of new jobs for 16-to-24-year-olds.
Back in April, we welcomed Rhyanne Marshall, 18, who is now a retail assistant at Furniture Works, our shop and workshop space at 39 St Thomas Street, part of the Futureworks NY portfolio of support, training, and learning.
Rhyanne said: “I am really pleased to be part of the team here at Furniture Works.
“Skills I am learning include customer relations, product selling, stock control, taking orders, overseeing deliveries, posting items for sale on Facebook, updating the website, and cash handling.
“Retail is the line of work I am interested in. I applied for the role, and I was successful following an interview with Sarah and Michelle.”
Sarah Thornton, co-founder of Furniture Works said: “Rhyanne joined us in early April 2021 and works in Furniture Works 25 hours a week for the next six months. We became involved in the scheme thanks to Yorkshire in Business here in Scarborough.
“The aim of the scheme is to give mentoring support to a young person while they are being paid during their training. This reduces the risk of long-term unemployment.
“One of the key aspects is to build up confidence for the future as job opportunities return to our local economy.While we don’t have sales targets, we encourage Rhyanne to build upon her skills portfolio to include interactions with customers and liaise with the workshop team, so she knows what is being currently renovated.”
Rhyanne said: “The role is for six months, and I hope to be kept on afterwards. One of the many benefits of the scheme is that I will have the skills I need to continue a career in the retail industry.”
Our Women in the Workshop course got off to a great start earlier this year!
We launched this 12-week course with the aim of reaching ladies who are currently unemployed and economically inactive who were interested in gaining some basic hands-on skills.
It’s been a great way for our participants to meet new people and acquire new skills which include restoring furniture and other projects.
The course also aims to build up confidence and there’s the chance to learn retail skills, learn up-cycling techniques which could be used at home and an opportunity to explore any creative talent the participants might have.
Support is also available to help our ladies look towards their important future plans and see where opportunities may lie in the local area.
The sessions took place from 9.30am to 12noon or from 1pm to 3.30 and the next Women in the Workshop course takes place from 24th June 2021.
Participants must be aged 18 or over.
The course is open to women aged over 18 years. Anyone interested can get in touch with the Futureworks NY team on 01723 449616.
As Lockdown 3.0 doesn’t look like ending any time soon, it’s easy to forget that while many businesses were told to close until it is safe to reopen, here at Futureworks NY, we are working safely and securely in the background, supporting our learners even during these difficult times.
The start of 2021 has been a bit of a false one with the Lockdown 3.0 imposed so early in January.
For many of us, it wasn’t a surprise, but it does mean for many folks, their usual routines and lives are on hold for the time being.
Here at Futureworks NY, though, we know the importance of keeping up contact with our learners. We still need to help people get their lives back on track, whatever the circumstances, so we’ve been working safely in the background so we can provide our services in a safe, socially distanced way.
Therefore, our team is still working for and supporting our clients during Lockdown 3.0. This includes telephone calls and yes, using Zoom for virtual meet ups. While we understand it isn’t quite the same as face-to-face contact, it is a very good replacement for the time being.
Our team are also dropping off work for our learners in a safe and secure way, and where possible we’re even going on one-to-one walks for those who need fresh air and a socially distanced chat during these very tricky times.
The TV programme Masterchef has nothing on us when we do our Zoom cookery sessions with our young learners to keep them busy! This can be fun, even if every pot and pan in the kitchen is used. Our cookery sessions also teach our learners the basics so they can create delicious food from scratch and it’s so rewarding when they discover that tasty cooking doesn’t have to be complicated.
Lockdown 3.0 has also given us time to reflect on 2020 and all that happened in what was an eventful year!
For us, 2020 was a very busy one for several different reasons. Yes, we had Lockdown 1.0, 2.0 and the Tier Systems, but as a place offering educational help, we were able to offer our services in a Covid-19 secure way.
This includes help for school age young adults, help for 16 to 18-year-olds and adult training. We also offer our Community Works portfolio which includes furniture restoration along with other skills development.
Back in March 2020, we were featured in the annual Parliamentary Review and we were part of a podcast!
In September we were awarded the coveted Matrix quality standard for information and guidance services. It was awarded on behalf of the Department of Education and we could not have been prouder if we tried.
Then in late September, after months of hard work and dedication, our retail unit, Furniture Works opened in St Thomas Street, Scarborough. This unit includes an amazing shop front and a workshop to the rear.
Lastly, in December, we were finalists in the Innovation and Enterprise Awards 2020.
All in all, 2020 was actually a hectic year, even though we faced many challenges brought by the Lockdowns and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Our office staff have been working hard to keep all our paperwork up to date, keeping in touch with our supporters and hopefully making it possible for our learners to create some great memories and share their stories in the near future.
Of course, we’re now nine years old … it’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since our not-for-profit organisation Community Interest Company was founded.
Our mission continues to include working within our community, provide support and guidance and encourage all ages to fulfil their potential through engagement, motivation and support.
Our projects are varied, ranging from outdoor challenges to property renovation along with opportunities for some of our learners to gain qualifications.
And while some of these elements have been on hold or are delivered in a different way, we are ready for the rest of 2021 and can’t wait to see what it brings.
Until next time …
As Lockdown 2 begins, here at Futureworks NY, we remain open (safely, of course) as we continue to offer our education and support programmes for our learners.
We can answer any queries you might have and don’t forget we also have our new Furniture Works shop offering a click and collect service from its St Thomas Street location here in Scarborough.
Why not take the time to explore the rest of our website starting with our About Futurworks webpage.
Stay safe and well, everyone!