News

Blackpool Youth Voice AGM 2016

Blackpool Youth Voice (BYV), held their second Youth Summit on November 15th 2016 at the prestigious Blackpool town hall. Over 40 people were in attendance representing schools, colleges, uniformed groups, voluntary groups and community youth projects across Blackpool. The evening consisted of two parts: the first being BYV AGM and the second being the Youth Summit, where a question and answer session was included.

Jake Adams BYV’s Chair, presented their annual report. Members of the group were also given the opportunity to speak about how the group has personally benefited them.

The Youth Summit was designed to enable participants to discuss with the panel members the top three issues identified from the recent Make Your Mark campaign. The panel members consisted of Jake Adams (Chair of Blackpool Youth Voice & Blackpool’s Member of Youth Parliament), David Williams (PM lead at Blackpool Sixth Form), John Stainton (CASHIER), Wendy Casson (Head of Education Diversity) and Lesley Slack (Assistant Head teacher for Education Diversity).

The national Make Your Mark campaign was open from August 12th to October 7th 2016. The campaign is a part of the British Youth Council, United Kingdom Youth Parliament campaign, which is a ballot paper for young people, aged 11 to 18, to have their say on what is debated by their Member of Youth Parliament’s in the House of Commons every year. BYV previously managed the campaign in 2015 achieving a staggering 8,893 ballots (~64% turn out) and this year we gathered 6,024 (~44% turnout) which, while lower than the previous year, is an impressive figure that we’re proud of.

The top three issues from Blackpool young people during the Make Your Mark campaign were Curriculum to prepare us for Life, Mental Health and Stop cuts that affect the NHS.

Curriculum for Life:14.59% of the total votes in make your mark were for Curriculum to prepare us for life.  The purpose of Curriculum to prepare us for life is to give young people vital information in order for them to have the best possible opportunities in life and leave school more prepared for independent living. Teachers should be specifically trained to a national standard to deliver this education to ensure to all students, no matter where they’re from, are receiving the best possible citizenship education. 

Stop Cuts That Affect the NHS:The purpose of this campaign is to combat all funding cuts being made to the NHS as we believe the NHS cannot be sustained while funding cuts are being made. We must keep our vital services to protect everyone. This issue came second in our Make Your Mark campaign with 13.08% of the total vote.

Mental Health:The purpose of this campaign is to improve mental health for young people and making mental health education compulsory. This issue came third in our Make Your Make campaign with 10.38% of the total vote.

The event was a huge success with many young people freely asking questions about each issue, particularly focusing on Curriculum for Life and Mental Health. Throughout discussions there were solid contacts made and actions for the group to take forward.

BYV are recruiting for more members. Please contact: jakeadams@blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk or youthsupport@blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk for more details or visit the website www.blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk

International Men’s Day 2016

International Men’s Day is on Saturday 19th November. The objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.

The theme for 2016 is Stop Male Suicide. In every country bar China where it is approximately equal the suicide rate is worse for men than women and averaged out on a country by country basis the rate of suicide for men is up to three times that of women. In Russia it is 6 men for every 1 women. Men’s health is worse than women’s in every part of the world. Recent World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that, globally, male life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 69 years; for females, it was 74 years. Children suffer when they lose a father or a grandfather prematurely. So let’s work together to turn the tide of male ill-health & suicide.

Another theme for this year is ‘Making an Difference for men and boys’ The theme is designed to help more people consider what action we can all take to “make a difference” by addressing some of the issues that affect men and boys such as;

  • The high male suicide rate
  • The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education including attainment
  • Men’s health, shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths
  • The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
  • Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
  • The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
  • Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
  • The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers

The key issue of focus at a national level for 2016 is “supporting boys with their academic, employment, personal, social and health education“. There will also be a continuation of the attention on male suicide. International Men’s day also coincides with International

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

URPotential Projects to get involved with

BBO Project

Our BBO Age of Opportunity is a new project that will support those over 50 who are currently unemployed or economically inactive and will help to improve their skills & employability. To do this, we intend to address a wide range of often complex barriers that are specific to this age group, including: poor health, lack of confidence, outdated skills, age discrimination & caring responsibilities. You can click here to find out more information or contact krysia@urpotential.co.uk

Volunteering

We have numerous volunteer opportunities ranging from admin to allotment work for you to get involved with. Gain new skills, make friends & build confidence by volunteering! Click here to find out more information or contact manager@urpotential.co.uk

Training

URPotential offer free training to people aged 19+ who are not in education or employment. We offer a wide range of courses, such as first aid, reaching urpotential, interview skills, customer service amongst others. To find out more about our training click here or contact Denise on enquiries@urpotential.co.uk

Director Deborah Represents GB!

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Congratulations to our Director Deborah Terras & husband Tony Terras who represented Great Britain at the Biathle World championships in Sarasota Florida on Sunday 23rd October. Deborah came 5th achieving a personal best & Tony came 7th. The dynamic duo are all set to represent GB again next year. Congratulations from the whole team at URPotential.

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Fantastic Job Opportunity!

Job: Sessional Youth and Community Workers

Rate of pay: Based on JNC Professional range point 11

Hours: various

Length of contract: various

Area:  Working across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre

Projects:  A number of different projects

Must be level 3 qualified or above or working towards level 3.

URPotential provides research and consultancy, accredited training and volunteering opportunities to young people, adults, families and the community and targeted youthwork. We work with young people, families, communities and organisations developing capacity across the North West through training and accreditation. We are an accredited centre for a number of awarding bodies including: AQA, Open Wards, ABC as well as Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.

We have vacancies for Youth and Community Workers to work on a sessional basis on a number of projects across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.  We are looking to recruit highly motivated specialist youth & community workers with experience in working alongside young people, building positive relationships, and with experience of meeting specific targets. You will be responsible for developing action plans with young people; to improve health & wellbeing and build their resilience, and to support them to consider options to improve their emotional health and well being.

Pension: new employees will be enrolled into URPotential’s company pension scheme where applicable.

Travel: Travelling expenses will be paid for all journeys required for work, excluding travel from home to base. The current rates are 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles per year and 25p per mile thereafter.

The nature of the post will require travel across the region.   A full driving licence is highly desirable.

Closing date for completed applications: Friday 2nd December 2016 at 5pm with interviews scheduled for the following week.

Job pack available at: enquiries@urpotential.co.uk or telephone 01253 344398

URPotential Big Fylde Celebration 2016

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URPotential held the second of their Big Lottery funded celebration events in Fylde. ‘The 2016 Big Fylde Celebration’ was held yesterday Monday 24th October at AKS School Lytham.

Voluntary & charitable organisations from across Fylde came together to celebrate the good work of their volunteers and their organisations work in their communities.  Organisations nominated their organisations & volunteers for certificates and awards. Attending were:

  • Fylde Sharks disability swimming club for children and young people
  • St Annes Youth Council
  • Lytham Hall
  • Park View 4 u
  • Ribble sailing club
  • Lythams Ladies Circle
  • Lytham Park Hall run
  • Krank-it Cycling
  • Fylde Family Cycling club

All the groups received certificates for their volunteers and a trophy for their cabinets in recognition of all the good work they do in Fylde.

Pam Young of Fylde Sharks was nominated as the Inspirational Volunteer of Fylde

Pam is one amazing person you’ll ever meet, she is dedicated to helping others, that’s why she has a special ability to support everyone involved with Fylde Sharks Disability Swimming Club and Fylde Otters Adults with Disabilities. She is a brilliant volunteer and handles majority of the workload and takes on numerous tasks outside her domain. She is simply the best – as Tina Turner would sing!

Also volunteering their services for the evening were Karen Turner Dance Troupe aged 4 to 14. Also Skool of Street street dance company with dancers aged 6 to 32.  Bringing a touch of glamour and excitement but also depicting the diversity of volunteer opportunities available to young people.

Everyone was treated to a Fizz (non-alcoholic) and Fancy tea with sandwiches, cakes and drinks.

Councillor Angela Jacques said ‘To celebrate volunteering in our community is a wonderful way of bringing people together and recognise their hard work’’

The event was one of 3 across the Fylde coast all supported and funded by Big Lottery Celebrate Fund.

URPotential Big Wyre Celebration

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URPotential held the third of their Big Lottery funded celebration events in Wyre. ‘The 2016 Big Wyre Celebration’ was held yesterday Wednesday 26th October at Fleetwood High School Fleetwood.

Voluntary & charitable organisations from across Wyre came together to celebrate the good work of their volunteers and their organisations work in their communities.  Organisations nominated their organisations & volunteers for certificates and awards.

The Celebration event was opened by Jessica Basquill the Youth Mayor of Wyre. This was her first official appointment and we were very proud to invite her to open the event and present the Certificates & Awards.

Attending were:

  • Westview Community Centre
  • Fleetwood Town Council
  • Fleetwood in Bloom
  • Fleetwood back on track
  • Fleetwood Community Trust
  • Fleetwood Football Club
  • Wyre CCTV Group
  • Wyre Youth Council
  • Wyre CCG
  • Wyre Disability Partnership
  • Fleetwood Museum Trust

All the groups received certificates for their volunteers and a trophy for their cabinets in recognition of all the good work they do in Wyre.

Derek of Wyre CCTV group was nominated as the Most Committed Volunteer of Wyre

Derek works tirelessly for the group to ensure that the communities of Wyre feel safe and protected. He has been with the group for over 10 years and is very proud to be part of the group and the volunteering he does.

Also volunteering their services for the evening was Eric Lee a local singer/entertainer who set the scene with his opening songs getting everyone in the mood for a night of fun and celebration. Everyone was treated to a Fizz (non-alcoholic) and Fancy tea with sandwiches, cakes and drinks.

The event was one of 3 across the Fylde Coast all supported and funded by Big Lottery Celebrate Fund.

URPotential Blackpool Big Celebration 2016

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URPotential celebrated the best in volunteering and communities coming together to celebrate and support others.

URPotential attempted to break a Guinness book of Records for the most amount of people dressed as Princesses in one place. They came from across Blackpool in all kinds of glittery sparkly outfits with tiaras and crowns fit for a Princess. The youngest was 6weeks old and the oldest 70 all excited and ready to volunteer their time to support URPotential raise funds for a young man named Freddie to purchase an electric sock. Freddie suffered a stroke when he was five and lost the use of his right side. Freddie’s family said ‘the sock will give him greater freedom when walking and also strengthen his muscles. Freddie has just started high school and our goal has always been to give Freddie every opportunity to be independent and this sock will support this’. The volunteers raised £345 in total which takes us up to nearly 50% of our target of £2000. High Sheriff of Lancashire John Barnet opened the event and made a very passionate eloquent speech about coming together to support people and the power of volunteering. He brought his beautiful wife Dannielle dressed as a Princess. Michigan from Skool of Street sang Let it go from Frozen dressed as Elsa. Everyone who attended enjoyed it enormously not only the event but the getting together to find their outfits. Lytham Ladies Circle supported along with Blackpool Soroptimists.

All the Princesses went home with a Princess wrist band, special cupcakes and drinks. A great day was had by all even though the record was not beaten. Linda Markey of URPotential said ‘everyone was so keen to try the attempt again that they have already stated plans to hold it in Volunteers Week 2017’.

URPotential Futures Ball 2016

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Guests and young people from across the Fylde Coast and North West, attended URPotential’s inaugural Futures Ball at the Imperial Hotel Blackpool on Saturday 10th September. The Futures Ball was hosted by Helen Kershaw- Russell, from Blackpool and Fylde College, with Max Beesley Snr as the guest auctioneer.

The event organised by URPotential steering group members Denese Welch, Denise Davies and Directors Deborah Terras and Linda Markey saw 120 guests enjoy a champagne reception, 4 course evening meal, followed by entertainment involving guests playing stand up Bingo and finishing with dancing the night away with the talented Manchester based Weekend Millionaires.

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The Ball raised in excess of £4,500.00 for the URPotential Youth Fund, which will support young people in accessing resources to help them in their future career, training and education dreams.

Deborah Terras from URPotential said “We would like to thank everyone who has supported the event especially our sponsors and those organisations and business who donated auction and raffle prizes. We were overwhelmed by the generosity and support of our guests and sponsors.”

Dr Peter Smith GP of Bloomfield Medical Centre said “ I was enthralled by listening to the journeys which young people have travelled to reach their potential. I am looking forward to working more closely with URPotential and supporting them in any way I can”

You can still donate to URPotential: Go to www.urpotential.co.uk and click on donate here.

URPotential Big Celebrations

Celebrating what is good about our communities and volunteers and including a Guinness world record attempt

URPotential will be holding three celebration events one in Blackpool, one in Fylde and one in Wyre.

The first main event is on 22nd October 2016  at Stanley Park Sports Centre, Blackpool; Guinness world record attempt for the Largest Gathering of Princesses,  we require as many members of the community to come together and take part in this Make a Difference day event, wristbands will be given and refreshments will be provided, organisations will be invited to showcase what they offer for volunteers and community member.

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URPotential want to celebrate all that is good about our communities in Blackpool and what better way than with a fun activity. Supported by funding from Big Lottery, URPotential are holding a celebration and Guinness World Record event on 22nd October 2016 at Blackpool Sport Centre.  The High Sheriff of Lancashire John Barnett MBE DL will open the event. URPotential want to encourage inter-generational communities gathering together to have fun, celebrate volunteering and for organisations to showcase what they offer in Blackpool.

URPotential will be attempting to break the Guinness world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as princesses. This event will be the first event of our Big Lottery Funded celebration events that will be held across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde. The Blackpool event will be held on Make a Difference Day, so in order to make a difference we will be fundraising. The event requires participants to come along dressed as princesses (ankle to floor length dress and a crown or tiara) the dress code is very strict. We are welcoming all ages and genders, mums, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sisters; to come along, join in and be involved. Children under 13 need to be accompanied by an adult in the official attempt area who is also in full fancy dress.

Time to dig out old wedding or prom dresses and give them one last twirl. Or borrow a dress and a tiara!

We will be fundraising at the event raising funds for a young man called Freddie. Freddie is an inspirational boy who after suffering a stroke at age 5 and losing the use of his left side has taken the family on an amazing voyage of discovery. When their original NHS physiotherapist decided to leave the NHS his parents  made decision to go with him privately, partly because they knew and trusted him and because he had industry knowledge of treatments and services that were not available through the NHS or not recognised as a treatment plan for stroke children. PSP Physio and DMO orthotics have supplied Freddie privately with arm braces for the last few years away from the NHS. Recently this same company have introduced an “Electric Sock” which hopefully will allow Freddie greater freedom when walking and also strengthen his muscles. With a standard plastic leg brace Freddie’s foot is in a fixed position and his muscles are not being taxed but with the stimulation and support this new sock offers he is able use the tendons in his leg correctly.  Tom, Freddie’s Dad explained “The first time he tried the sock to see if he was suitable was amazing, to see his foot go from a droop position to suddenly upright and responsive just through electrical stimulation was incredible to us. Freddie has just started High School and our goal as a family has always been to make Freddie independent as he matures and give him every opportunity  to enjoy life and not be restricted. Our aim is for him to drive a “regular” car when he is 17 and participate in all leisure activities without restriction or need for special adaptations. His sock and arm support are part of getting his body to a point where his brain can switch over and start to work them again.”

The second and third events will be held in Wyre and Fylde. Fylde on Monday 24th October at AKS Lytham School and the Wyre event will be Wednesday 26th October at Fleetwood High School.  The events will celebrate volunteering and community engagement. Our fizz and fancies events will be an opportunity for  communities to come together to recognise the achievements of volunteers, be part of some wonderful entertainment and have the opportunity to meet other people in our communities, all put together with fancy cakes and non-alcoholic fizz!

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What better way to enjoy your evening!

Organisations will have the opportunity to nominate their most inspirational volunteer for an award and to showcase their services and volunteering opportunities. We would like the whole community to attend  the events and celebrate the achievements of local people.

If you want to be part of any of the events, either as a princess, an organisation or to help volunteer then please contact Sam on 01253 344398 or 07432000530 or sam@urpotential.co.uk

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