Young people build skills for life at Mersea Island Festival

12 September 2016

Seventeen young people who attend Youth Connexions’ Focus Youth Project took part in a four-day residential programme which brings young people together from all over South-East England.

The Mersea Island Festival, held at the end of August every year, was launched in 1981 as part of Britain’s Year of the Disabled, and aims to bring together young people with or without a disability to participate in activities that develop social interaction, team work and confidence. The focus of the residential was young people’s personal and social development including independent living skills.

The young people, supported by Youth Connexions youth workers, participated in a wide range of activities including swimming, quad biking, speed boating, arts, crafts and a steel band carnival party. Through these activities the young people developed many different skills and their achievements were recorded through a nationally recognised accreditation.

 YCH Focus Group At Mersea

One member of the youth project, Kerose, said that the activities were “enjoyable and challenging”. He particularly enjoyed the climbing wall where he was able to reach the top and then come down on the zip wire. Another participant, Laura, said that “meeting other people and sharing the experience with friends” was, for her, the best part of the residential trip.

Youth Connexions Focus Youth Project supports young people with learning disabilities. It meets weekly at Waltham Cross Youth Centre on Tuesdays for young people aged 13-17 and on Wednesdays for young people aged 17-24. The project gives young people the opportunity to learn new skills, develop their confidence, take on responsibilities and discuss issues which are important to them

The young people are already discussing ways to raise funds to attend next year’s festival so that other members of the Focus Youth Project are also able to go too.

Find out more about the Focus Youth Project and view the venue on a map on MOGOlistings.

Youth Connexions runs projects for young people with learning disabilities across the whole of Hertfordshire. Click to find a youth project near you.