Darren’s Story – Action Towards Inclusion

Darren’s Story – Action Towards Inclusion

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What Is Action Towards Inclusion, or ATI? 

Action Towards Inclusion is something that is at the very heart of Futureworks NY.

We understand that some of us need the right support to get you ready for work, training or both so you can reach your full potential.

Sometimes, though, it is difficult to know where to begin.

ATI will provide you with a mentor who will get to know you has a person, really listen to you and work alongside you so you can reach your life goals.

ATI, sometimes referred to as Adult Training, is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme in Scarborough.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the aim is to help learners and participants towards meaningful employment.

The programme also helps address a range of social issues such as poverty, exclusion and even health-related barriers.

The age range is 19-years and over.

Find out more here: https://futureworksny.co.uk/what-


What Will My ATI Mentor Do? 

Your mentor will support and help you with job applications, CV writing, interviews and more.

We can also help you take control your finances, from debt management to budgeting, from help with benefits to even encouraging you to become your own boss.

You’ll be encouraged to work as actively and proactively as possible as you reach your goals.

There will also other areas you can access such as mental and physical health and wellbeing, counselling, work experience, volunteer opportunities and many different skills.


If You Live in Scarborough 

If you live in Scarborough on the Yorkshire Coast, then Futureworks NY is the ATI partner for the area.

Working in Scarborough means our staff have a unique understanding of you, your needs and the challenges and opportunities of the coastal town.

Virginia is our keyworker who has ATI expertise and she can help you on the road to success.

Get in touch todayhttps://f

What About Maths and English?

These two subjects are important and here at Futureworks NY we have specially trained staff who can teach these areas along with employability skills to help bring you a brighter future.


Don’t Just Take Our Word For It … 

Here at Futureworks NY, we’ve helped scores of individuals through the ATI programme.

We are very proud to be part of it.

And sometimes we get some fabulous feedback about what we do.

You can imagine how amazed and humbled we were when we got this incredible feedback from one of our ATI learners.

Darren is more than happy for us to share his experience of ATI here at Futureworks NY so it can hopefully inspire and help others.

The Start of Darren’s Story 

Darren gained a place at University yet after three months, he realised he wasn’t ‘cut out’ for the academic side of the degree programme.

He realised he was more hands on, practically minded and wanted to work with a variety of tools in the electricals industry.

Yet even this realisation wasn’t without its challenges and anxieties, as Darren reveals:

“I started to study electricity and got really interested in the intricacies, structure and complexities surrounding the trade and electricity itself. From there I wanted to begin looking for an apprenticeship and become an electrician in time.

“So, I started looking, for over a year I was looking for the right opportunities to pop up and take them at first sight.

“Unfortunately, it was hard for me to find what was out there as I was only one person and felt like I didn’t have the right experience all qualifications to get attention from any employer. This at the back of my mind caused me to worry, a lot, and made me think I was just going to be stuck going down the medical field which deep down I didn’t want to do as I like working more with my hands.”

Reading this will perhaps resonate with some of you ‘out there’.

The world is a stressful place, with lots to face and as a result, lots of anxiety can creep in and affect confidence.

Yet, there is help on hand …

A Friend in Need … 

Darren explains about how he found out about Futureworks NY, Action Towards Inclusion and our ATI team member, Virginia.

“This all changed when a friend told me about Futureworks NY. He told me that he had been there before, the staff there were really nice and they were willing to help people like me looking for the careers that they desire.

“So, I rang up and made an appointment to meet Virginia Dobson, my keyworker, and I could tell from the first day of meeting that she had a genuine care for wanting me to succeed and reach my desired career path.

“After filling out the legal documents of my name, address, my qualifications, she began by passing me resources of where to look for apprenticeships in the electrical trade and even got me a few websites to search for any electrical apprenticeships in the area. I started sending out emails, knocking on every door that I could find and get my name out there. Virginia didn’t stop there and also emailed me directly different websites and avenues to go down to look for opportunities, electrical companies, colleges and over training centres that provide electrical training.”

Furniture … Works 

Futureworks NY also has Furniture Works, our retail outlet in St Thomas Street, Scarborough, which opened its doors in September 2020.

With a lovely shop front just moments from the town centre, Furniture Works is the place in Scarborough where customers can browse and buy upcycled furniture that’s been donated to the shop.

Once the furniture has been donated, the Futureworks NY team get to work on the various pieces, sometimes completely transforming them ready for their forever homes.

Find out more here: 

Darren was introduced to the team at Furniture Works and the rest, as they say, is history:

“There I met Ben, Jamie and David, members of staff and tradesmen willing to teach what they know to young – and old – individuals like me who are looking to take on new skills. They were honest, they taught me new techniques and gave me clear instruction but also entrusted me with using new tools I had never used before to get confident with it and gain a skill.

“They told me how to use the tools before I even laid a finger on them with clear and easy to understand instruction. They allocated me wood projects, whether it was creating a project from scratch or picking up an existing piece of furniture and giving it a new layer of paint, metaphorically or literally. I created a bedside table from pine scaffolding board.

“They showed me the proper measuring techniques and tools required to get it done as smoothly as possible. I sanded it down, gave it a good coat of Danish oil and after only a few weeks of working it was done and on the shop floor. If I had a question in the process, the staff were there and happy to answer, they did not belittle me or make fun of my intelligence but instead were very friendly, encouraging and engaging.”

Gaining Confidence and Communication Skills 

As well as learning some incredibly important ‘hands on’ skills, Darren also acquired confidence in other areas, as he reveals here:

“There were often times we would, in the middle of working, just have a laugh and talk about almost anything as the day went on, it was a positive environment that I feel any tradesman or tradeswoman would enjoy. There were a few times as well Jamie or Ben would have me sent out with them in the van to do delivery trips or pick up furniture for the workshop, this got us outside in the fresh air and working with customers.”

This is so amazing to read, as this really helps us to see how the ATI programme achieves its aims.

Other Employability Skills 

Darren is also keen to say about the other skills and support he had from the Futureworks NY team:

“Virginia and her co-workers, David and Paul, helped me fix up my CV and give me a few pointers for writing a cover letter which I now have saved on my home computer for future use that I pass onto any electrical employers.

“They even took me, along with a few other learners, to a local training centre that offered Level 2 and 3 courses in the trades like electrical, plumbing, brick laying, plastering and joinery etc.

“Virginia made me aware of this and invited me to come by email, to which they were happy to pay for a taxi down and be with us in a new environment, and helped us ask the right questions.”

Find out more here about Action Towards Inclusion and the Futureworks NY team

What’s Next for Darren 

All this is so wonderful to read. Darren’s experiences really show how Action Towards Inclusions can operate on multiple levels and offer an interdisciplinary approach to learners.

Darren’s story, however, continues, as he explains here:

“After all these good experiences, I am now looking at going to Scarborough Tech for electrical installation and maintenance.

“Finally, after long and hard of looking, things are now starting to look positive after all the worrying and fretting.

“If I had to picture where I would be without Futureworks NY, I would no doubt still be at home looking frantically for any opportunities in the electrical trade with no clear direction and the sheer weight of anxiety on my shoulders.

Futureworks NY gave me a clear direction to aim in and supported me every step of the way. They welcomed me with open arms from the day I met them, with enthusiasm, encouragement and care about what I wanted out of life and what I wanted to achieve.

“It is something that I would absolutely recommend to anybody, young or old, who is looking to get in some form of career whether that’s care, a trade or anything else and that they need support to contact them because they will help you from the day you meet them.”

Futureworks NY – A Visit to York!

Futureworks NY – A Visit to York!

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!

On the train

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.

Art Gallery

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.

Looking at the typewriter

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.

York street

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.

Tudor building