Ray Rooney

 Cylcling

I started my Social Media and Communications Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship at NE Youth (then NCYP) in January 2016, having just completed a Games Design & Development course at Newcastle College.

My main job at NE Youth is to manage the Social Media accounts, maintain and update the website, and create the weekly Newsletter. However, I’ve also had the opportunity to be part of various events and projects that I couldn’t have envisaged myself doing before joining, such as supporting the staff in the NCS Pathfinders programme, leading on an exciting programme called Generation Code (delivering various coding/games
workshops to over 40 young people within our membership), and most recently I supported staff on a week’s Ocean Youth Trust Voyage and became the North East representative for the UK Youth Voice.

NE Youth has also opened up plenty of opportunities to work with different charities and members, such as Young In Wallsend and Smile For Life Children’s Charity, with the latter offering me the chance to take part in a 600km cycle fundraising trek from Cambodia to Vietnam in October 2017. My confidence and my skills since starting my apprenticeship have skyrocketed and I am extremely grateful to NE Youth for the opportunity that they have given me.

“We are incredibly proud of the journey Ray has taken with us. We believe that NE Youth provides a great environment for young staff to learn, develop their skills and increase their confidence. Ray has grabbed this opportunity and made a real difference”

Jon Niblo (NE Youth – CEO)


Reece Hubbard

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Before I started my training at NE Youth I had no idea of what I actually wanted to do with my life. I tried to stay in sixth form but fell behind, I tried an apprenticeship in catering but didn’t enjoy it. Luckily I was contacted by Rathbone; I started an employment course with them and then went onto a residential with NE Youth as part of an NCS Pathfinders Programme, that then opened my eyes to youth work as a career.

Through joining NE Youth as a Trainee Youth Worker, I have gained a lot of great experience and a lot of colleagues and friends. I have also gained a lot of confidence, knowledge and experience from working in many different youth clubs. I have taken part in training and gained life skills such as first aid, sexual health and domestic abuse.
My time at NE Youth only gets better with time. I feel like a real member of the team in anything we do. I believe that joining NE Youth has pushed me and made me so much stronger in every aspect of my life; I have assisted in delivering many youth club sessions and in doing so have learned a great amount.

My life before joining NE Youth was all over the place, I had no real passion for life. I really feel like I’m making a difference in young people’s lives as well as my own. The experience at NE Youth has been amazing and I know it will only get better, I hope to continue working with young people so I can change their lives in a positive way. I want to thank everyone at NE Youth for this great opportunity and a promising future.

“We were delighted that Reece was interested in doing a work placement with NE Youth and amazed at how – with minimal training and no previous experience – he has been able to effectively work with a wide variety of young people. Reece has been open, friendly, helpful and extremely popular with young people, staff, volunteers and other professionals. He works well with others, due to his enthusiasm and maturity.”

Sara Newson (NE Youth – Youth Work Manager)

NE Youth Inclusive Youth Session at Blaydon Youth Project and Community Centre

Ryan who is in his early twenties regularly attends NE Youth’s Inclusive Session at Blaydon Youth & Community Centre. The youth club offers young people with additional needs/physical disabilities opportunities to; socialise, take part in issue-based discussions, participate in games, sport, art & craft activities and go on trips. Ryan really values a one to one chat with the NE Youth project workers at some point during the Wednesday evening session.

Through regular chats with the three project workers, a need for more structured time to discuss his worries was identified. With Ryan’s consent project staff got in touch with the Counselling Service at Children North East and an informal meeting was arranged. After a few weeks, Ryan’s confidence grew and a more structured weekly counselling session at the Blaydon Centre was established. Crucial to the success of the sessions was that the counsellor was happy to meet Ryan at a local venue where he felt secure. As a result of the on-going sessions Ryan has felt more relaxed andseems better able to cope with life’s challenges.


Robert Beveridge – My Journey

Ever since I finished my GCSEs and I was beginning my A levels, I started looking for work not only to keep myself busy and occupied, but to get a taste of what work life is like.

From handing in CVs to filling out applications, despite all the efforts I was putting in, I never got a reply back from the majority nor proceeded to the information stage and I did not know where I was going wrong and I felt like I was getting held back by my disabilities.

During my difficult times I went onto further education to better myself so I stood more chance of getting a job, but again I was getting nowhere, also I did voluntary work with the Rising Sun Farm in Wallsend and I started taking part in other sports such as Goalball.

Then I discovered that Gateshead Council were doing an employability course, so I signed up for it. Not only I completed both level 1 and level 2 but it gave me a great depth on what I needed to do from tailoring CVs and what to write in the application to what I should say in a face to face interview and how to overcome barriers.

By that time I was slowly but surely coming out of the woods when I been accepted on a traineeship course with Newcastle College, and that’s when I got a placement at NCYP.

When I completed my hundred hours I was offered a job. Although it was only one day a week, it was something to start from to make my way up the ladder. I also got to meet new people and made good colleagues and friends.

Not only has it been a long road, but I proud to say that I came this far in getting into work.


Clive Nembard

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Before my time at NCYP I was a youth work volunteer, working at a job as a caterer which I didn’t really enjoy. Stephen Drew (Youth Work Coordinator at NCYP) told me about the StreetGames 24 week Full-time course and how it could open doors to many opportunities.

I started the course in September 2014, gaining experience, knowledge and skills that will help me for the future. From volunteering at different youth clubs to doing various training courses such as a Level 2 in First Aid, Level 2 in Food Hygiene, thus making me more qualified and employable.

During the course I had to do a social action project with a budget of £200. From my experience in personal training and boxing, along with feedback from young people I decided to do a 6 week fitness boot camp. The young people taking part were beating their personal bests in every exercise and felt the benefits of physical activity.

Since completing the course I am now a sessional worker for NCYP, working part time at various youth clubs. During the summer I had the privilege of being a co-leader for NCS, guiding young through a social action project. This was a new experience for me and as such has developed me into a better youth worker.

I am currently doing my Level 2 in Youth Work at the YMCA in North Shields allowing me to gain further experience and knowledge in different areas of youth work.

This whole experience has kick-started my career in working with young people where I hope I can keep having a positive impact in young people lives.

Thank you NCYP and StreetGames for giving me this great opportunity and the prospect of an exciting and fulfilling future.

“Clive Nembhard from the West End of Newcastle was selected onto our Full-Time Volunteer Programme (enabling projects to host a 24-week placement for a young person not in employment, education or training).  Under the guidance of his mentor, Stephen Drew, he made significant progress;  gaining two Level 2 coaching qualifications as well as planning, delivering and evaluating a variety of youth and sports sessions in some of the region’s most disadvantaged communities. His placement culminated with a healthy living programme at Lemington which engaged and rewarded local young men who committed towards healthier lifestyles including gym sessions, improved diet & nutrition and a reduction in smoking and alcohol. Not only was this a fantastic 6-week programme but it also had a long-lasting legacy with many of the lads now exercising regularly thanks to Clive. Clive himself went on to be offered casual work with NCYP – a fantastic outcome for him, particularly in light of the difficult circumstances he faced prior to his placement.”

Mark Oliver – National Fieldwork Manager (Volunteering – StreetGames UK)


Connor Craggs – My Journey

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During the first year of my Youth and Community Work Degree at Sunderland University I was required to do a work placement and thankfully I was selected at NCYP.

As well as making great colleagues and friends (for life), I have also had the opportunity to do things I would have never have imagined, from presenting the NCYP Annual Projects and Volunteering with Pride Awards Celebration Evening to over two hundred people; to supporting the team with delivering the summer NCS programme.

My time at NCYP has enabled me to better my skills, not only in practice but also theory. I have supported the team with delivery in various youth clubs, took part in organising and running large events and most importantly making a real difference to the lives of young people throughout the region.

Throughout my placement I had real personal struggles and at times I found the completion of my first year of University virtually impossible, therefore having to face the prospect of having to resit at a later stage.  Fortunately, the staff at NCYP offered me the support and encouragement I needed to help me through those difficult times.  Due to their amazing support and mentoring, and a lot of personal hard work over the summer, I completed my first year! I really couldn’t have done it without them.

Now I am proud to not only be a second year student, but also a valued staff member of NCYP working in many different youth projects and supporting young people.

“It’s been a privilege to see Connor grow and mature as a youth worker during this summer’s NCS Programme. He came late on within the programme and missed the first away residential.  However, he joined the programme at the start of the home residential, instantly found his dancing shoes and hit the dance floor with a bang and showed myself a few new moves. He became a very likeable character amongst the young people and staff.  His cheeky chap character and jokes provided great entertainment for everyone. All seriousness though, It was a fantastic experience for Connor in light of some difficulties he had in his first year’s University placement. He has now completed his first year and has been offered sessional work with ourselves – NCYP. It’s great to have him on board as paid member of staff.”

Stephen Drew