Three of our longest serving Ambassadors attended the Talent Match National Conference, which was held at the Sheffield Hilton last week, to speak about the power of partnership working, their involvement in co-production and how it has impacted on them.
The team certainly dressed for the occasion, suited and booted, they impressed the audience by giving an honest account of their personal situations when they joined Talent Match and explaining how partnership working and ‘360 degree support’ had changed them. They shared their journeys with great passion and were able to give real examples of how their involvement had changed and improved the course of the programme.
The programme has been successful and supported them into work, but interestingly part of their presentation reported that “the biggest impact on me has been friendships”. In different ways they all talked about isolation and how this affects confidence and mental heath, which leads to a vicious circle of being unable to socialise yet needing friendships to make them well. All three Ambassadors expressed pride about how they had steered the programme and how they had directly influenced changes which benefitted both themselves and others.
Gill Arabskyj, TYA’s Participation Manager said, “At the start of this journey these young people were alone and depressed with little if anything to look forward to. Now they are standing up in front of professionals, telling their story in the hope that the message is heard and others can have the same opportunities that they had”.
The group are still in touch and have created strong and lasting friendships; although they are working they still give up their time to support the programme and other young people joining the team.