Five young men (including 4 dads) from Romsey Mill’s Reboot course were driven to the Deepdale backpackers hostel on the North Norfolk coast for 24 hours of sea air and sand. Accompanied by Jackson Nazombe, Social Inclusion Co-ordinator and Ben Wilkes, Young Fathers Development Worker, these young men made the most of the time to recharge, relax and be removed from some of the pressures of the everyday.
It took them out of their usual situations and enabled them to enjoy walking along the beach, eating fish and chips, playing on the arcades and hanging out.
Before the trip, the young men chose roles to help with the smooth-running of the residential. One was given the job of navigation and had to try and find his way round using a physical map (quite a challenge when the Sat Nav on your phone is your usual guide!).
Two young men were the designated chefs for the overnight stay. They had to plan the dinner and a cooked breakfast, do the shopping and the cooking. They cooked a fantastic Chicken Curry on the Monday night, only managing to burn one pan (which Jackson managed to clean up with some ingenious technique involving soil!).
Ben and Jackson woke up on Tuesday morning expecting to have to chivvy the young men on but they were already up and cooking breakfast. They went to Wells-next-the-sea and enjoyed the simple pleasures of a bucket and spade; working together to bury Ben in the sand (right up to the neck!).
For the young men, the best things about the residential were having time away to contemplate their circumstances; a space to relax, refresh and verbalise their concerns and anxieties. It was also a time to strengthen friendships and build confidence.
For one of the chefs, the opportunity to be creative with food has made him think back to a previous catering course and has re-invigorated his passion and belief in what it can do. He is now thinking about catering in terms of a potential business enterprise.
Reboot is a course that targets young men (16–25) that struggle with engaging with college or being employed. It focuses on the whole person, who they are and who they could be, and the positive part they could play in their families and communities. As well as looking at CV writing, practical employment skills, communication and team work, they meet each week for classroom-based activities, discussions and games. They also have the opportunity to take part in positive, fun activities such as Golf, where they get a chance to experience something new and learn to work together. The Reboot course helps to develop aspirations, increase confidence and enhance self-esteem in young men who would otherwise find it difficult to secure training and employment.