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Young Person’s Social Group – What a Success!

Great things happen when we get together and listen to what people want.

A conversation last year between our Participation team and a young person we support sparked the idea for our now super-popular young person’s social group, which has grown and grown since that day.

The past 3 years have forced many young people to abandon their steps towards independence and making new friendships. This has knocked confidence and increased anxiety to an all-time high.

What is our Young Person’s Social Group?

This social group is aimed at people aged 18-30 who want to meet other young people. The group offers a chance to make new friends and try new activities. Together the group plan evenings out, social nights, cinema trips, games nights – a range of events that interest young people. Our Young Person’s social group encourages social interaction and reduces loneliness and isolation.

Thanks to Hau Third Sector Funding, we have offered free taster sessions for activities young people may enjoy. Because of this funding, the young people we support have been given the chance to try new things, without the added worry of cost.

Our Participation team spends time with the group to find out their interests and helps them plan future events. The group meet at venues where they can chat and get to know each other, then go on to try out new places, or familiar places they like. This has moved along at a really organic pace that has become a safe and fun space to develop friendships and pursue interests.

What can you do with our Young Person’s social group? 

There have been regular trips to the Cinema, with films being a common interest that brings everyone together. Pub nights live music gigs & theatre shows also, covering a wide variety of genres. The Escape Rooms provided a very different experience recently, and trips Video Game Bars featuring Virtual Reality and retro games proved a big success.  There has even been time for old classic pub games like Skittles and Snooker, and of course, Bowling!

The group has also been given opportunities to get up to date with what’s on in Cardiff, sparking new interests and passions. We have been having some great experiences lately, such as interesting on-off events and exhibitions at The Royal College of Music & Drama, and The Millenium Centre, and visits to The Senedd

Our group even got tickets to a Cardiff Huskies Ice Hockey game, with Participation Manager, Lisa and our CEO, Nick.

Not supported by us? No problem!

The group has reached many new people, some of whom are not supported by us and are now firm members of the Innovate Trust family.

Some come along to one of our community-based projects through our Participation and Skills & Wellbeing teams or our sister charity, Skills and Volunteering Cymru (SVC). Others have discovered our community app, Insight, or through members of our Peer-Led team. There are now more ways than ever for people to get involved and be included, leaving memories of social isolation behind! 

Feedback from friends and family

The feedback from families has been fantastic. Parents are worrying less and are so grateful that a supportive network of friends has grown around their loved ones. Many parents have contacted us to refer a friend’s son or daughter, with word of mouth contributing to this natural network around the group.

"This group's existence has made a massive difference to my son. Kath and Nico from the Participation team have gone above and beyond week after week to make my son feel so welcome and included. He's made great friends and comes home with different news each week."

We spoke to Kath Jones from Participation, who said she is really touched by the popularity of the group and the positive effect it has on participants.

"The positive impact this group has had on the confidence of the people involved has had gentle ripple effects on other areas of their lives. We have seen people change so much over the time we have been running. One regular member who started off unable to speak to anyone is now the first to greet each person who arrives with a smile and a "How are you?". He travels independently on the bus to and from an event and has even taken the initiative to research and organise further activities he'd like to try, rallying support from his new friends. It's so good to see."

Our Insight app has been especially important in the group’s success. It has allowed people to connect first, recognising faces and names before turning up somewhere for the first time. The group discuss plans through a dedicated WhatsApp group or on our Insight app. Afterwards, the group share their photos on Insight and stay connected. The group are always ready to plan the next event. 

Interested? Come along!

As we enter this warmer, more sociable time of the year, we can not wait to hear what local events the group has discovered and who else has come along.

Get in touch with us to join in on our adventures. Not only will you have a great time, but you can do so in a safe and welcoming environment. There is no pressure to show up to every session. We look forward to getting to know you!

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