Here at Futureworks NY, we’ve just celebrated our 8th birthday!
We can’t quite believe it, either!
We first started out in January 2012 (an Olympic year, which included the incredible Super Saturday).
We’ve also feel like we’ve come a fair distance since our first few months here at Futureworks, all those years ago.
Back then, we secured one small contract and our first member of staff, Helen. We had a small rented office so it was a bit of a squeeze!
Race forward 2020: a new year, a new decade and eight years later … we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved.
We now have six staff, along with Michelle and Sarah.
We have a project funded through the Big Lottery.
We have a project funded through Children in Need.
We have contracts through the European Social Fund.
And, most amazingly of all, we have supported nearly 600 young people since we began in 2012.
Of course we have a lot of people to thank, too … those who support us, believe in us and help us get to achieve so much. Thank you, everyone!
So as we’re at the beginning of another Olympic year, we’re hoping to go the distance for another eight years at least. And while there are no medals, seeing so many young people achieve their potential is reward enough!
We are delighted to see that Michelle and Sarah have been nominated for an award!
They’re in the list for the Business Woman of Year category in the Yorkshire Choice Awards.
As we know, this dynamic duo co-founded Futureworks NY, a Community Interest Company in 2012.
Futureworks NY is a not-for-profit organisation that helps local learners from school age upwards, enabling them to acquire life skills, confidence, practical skills and some qualifications in an environment that suits their individual requirements.
Sarah said: “I am thrilled to have been nominated for this fantastic award and feel very honoured to be listed alongside some superb local businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Michelle said: “The Yorkshire Choice Awards have nominations from across Yorkshire, so to be ‘on the list’ is a great achievement!”
The project is run through the Community Works scheme, funded by the Big Lottery and is unique to the Scarborough area.
Community Works is open to those aged 18 to 25 years of age, and we have small, welcoming groups in which learners acquire new skills and confidence in a supportive environment. One of the key areas of learning is furniture restoration and sometimes the piece that’s being renovated is completely unrecognisable as it’s been totally transformed. Our Community Works team includes Jamie who is never happier than when a paintbrush is in his hand!
Kink, just in case you don’t know, is an essential member of the Futureworks NY team.
He’s cute, adorable and loves a biscuit or two.
He’s also got four legs, a long waggy tail and won’t say no to a nice long walk.
Yes, he’s our office pooch!
Most visitors, staff and learners tend to say ‘hello’ to Kink before anyone else … so he really is ‘top dog’!
Our office is a busy one with lots going on at all times. So you might think that Kink gets under our feet or we get under his paws.
However, if Kink isn’t around we really notice it. It’s as though there’s a huge woofy-shaped hole if he’s not here. Come back, Kink, all is forgiven!
This made us think of the positive impact a pooch can have on an office … and here are a few overall advantages ..
It’s good for the dog … rather than the dog being left at home with occasional visits, he or she can benefit from having human company and interaction during working day.
It’s good for the humans … even house-trained pooches need a toilet break. Accompanied by a human and a poop scoop means someone gets a break from the desk, phone and artificial lighting!
It’s good for keeping staff happy … often regarded as another member of the office workforce, the office dog can help reduce absenteeism as job satisfaction is improved.
It improves mood … everyone has bad days. Seeing the office dog each day means employees and visitors look forward to that pooch welcome, paws and all!
It can be attractive for future employees … if you are seeking new members of the team, then most folks love a dog to be part of the working environment. However it is worth checking for any allergy sufferers …
It’s good for team building … a shared love of the dog is a shared interest. And it’s a great ice-breaker!
It’s great for working better … a pooch under the desk or lying at your feet can be both relaxing and reassuring. Stress can be reduced and therefore productivity can be increased.
Those of you who’ve met Kink know he’s a very lovable dog with the odd little growl escaping from time to time. He’s a big softie really, and we wouldn’t be without him. Keep it up, Kink … we love you!
Our VIP evening took place at the Royal Hotel, Scarborough … and it was FANTASTIC!
After months of planning, it all came together and everyone had a brilliant time.
From rocking to Tina Turner to ‘Doing the time-warp again’, we danced the night away under the disco lights … and some of us removed our shoes and really got ‘into the groove’!
So, what was it all about?
Back in the spring, we had a great idea (well, it seemed so at the time!) of having a VIP evening, celebrating the wonderful achievements of our learners past and present.
We decided on a special 1920s theme, booked the Royal Hotel in Scarborough and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
The whole team at Futureworks got involved … from sourcing the prom dresses to coming up with the menu and menu designs; setting the table decorations, deciding the seating plan; booking the entertainment, helping with the chair designs … and it all went like clockwork!
We were all nervous yet we had a positive energy. Everything started to take shape as the black and gold balloons arrived, and the fabulous feather decorations helped the tables look beautiful. We had golden chocolate coins, specially branded toffee souvenirs and even small bars of gold (not real, unfortunately) to help set the scene.
The evening started at 7pm and we gave out six of our awards before the first course was served. This got the evening off to a fun start.
We all enjoyed our starters and then we had another set of awards before the main course. We would like to thank the staff at the Royal Hotel as the service was very good and the food was really tasty.
The Hatton School of Dance performed a fantastic Charleston routine, with singing, amazing outfits and some incredible dance moves which included tap dancing. So much effort went into it and it was amazing. Thank you!
Other local companies that were there included Boyes and Crown Decorating, and these were just some of our supporters from the local area.
We then had our desserts and the last of the awards … #emotional. It is fair to say that those of us who could indulge in a few alcoholic tipples did so, and most of us headed to the dance floor as the DJ played some party classics.
Everyone started to throw some shapes on the dance floor as the evening progressed … and many of them were very interesting shapes indeed. Some of the napkins doubled up as bandanas and the feathers were up-cycled into some fantastic headgear. Weird yet wonderful!
It wouldn’t be a party night without some singing … the Spice Girls, anyone?
So was it worth it? Absolutely!
We would like to thank everybody involved and also to all our guests. It was a way of thanking you, too.
June is here … long daylight hours … summer on the horizon … and another Community Works 12-week workshop session is due to start!
Kink, our office pooch, knows when it’s time for our next workshop session as there’s the chance of extra custard creams in the biscuit tin: everyone needs to keep their energy levels up!
So, what are we talking about? What’s this 12-week workshop ‘thing’ all about?
Part of our Community Works project (18 to 25 years olds), we’ve had some Big Lottery funding so young adults can learn some practical skills that will help them throughout their lives.
We, the Futureworks team (Kink included although his spanner skills leave a lot to be desired) help young people learn woodwork, basic plumbing and electrical skills … let’s face it, all of us will need to fix a tap, wire a plug and put up a few shelves as we make our way through life!
Our learners are fully supported by tutors who have years’ experience (sometimes too many to mention) and there are no minimum requirements to join. To make the learning even more fun, we keep the groups small and very welcoming.
And then there’s the community bit!
So you’ve got your kit, you know what to do with it … now it’s time to help people in the big, wide world!
This is nothing to worry about though. Our fully supportive team help leaners to help others and get a great sense of achievement. Some of our Scarborough residents need a bit of assistance here and there and our learners are ready to help where they can.
Our workshops have lots of different goals and outcomes. We help in the wider community. We help our learners develop practical skills. Our learners also gain confidence in a world that can have its challenges.
The learners acquire their skills in a fully supported way with no such thing as a ‘daft question’.
And our next one is due to start June 2019!
Does this sound like something you could join? Are you aged between 18 and 25? Then we’d love to hear from you! You can phone us on 01723 449616, or email us email@example.com- we’d love to hear from you!