Prince Edward Visit
Posted in General on 09/10/2015
Prince Edward visits Orangebox Young People’s Centre
As Queen Elizabeth II celebrated more than 63 years on the throne on Wednesday 9 September, becoming the longest-reigning UK monarch, Halifax charity Orangebox hosted a visit by the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward.
The Earl of Wessex was greeted at the Orangebox Youth Centre by its Director Emily Pearson, Project Challenge Director, Lorna Butterick, Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Ferman Ali and guests including members of the Halifax Civic Trust, Orangebox Board members and local business people.
The Prince, who is a passionate supporter of young people’s organisations and a patron of the arts, unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit, thanked everyone for their time, for telling him the story of Orangebox and Project Challenge and said to “Keep up the excellent work.”
One Orangebox Partnership
Orangebox Director, Emily Pearson stressed the importance of the One Orangebox Partnership, as a place where voluntary and public sector organisations work together. Facilities available for young people at Orangebox include a state-of-the-art recording studio, rooftop skate park, indoor bouldering wall, a café and an Open Arts Award Centre starting in November.
“Our doors are open to everyone who wants to get involved,” says Emily. “We are one community and it’s all about reining the passion in young people. We just need to ensure we raise enough money to sustain the centre and keep building on success. Prince Edward’s visit has helped raise awareness of Orangebox, will encourage more young people to come to the Centre and sends out a positive message to schools.”
“It’s been an amazing day to be part of the Royal visit with Orangebox,” adds Working Wonders Project Manager, Jayne Spencer. “It has highlighted the importance of partnerships between young people’s organisations and charities. By opening the doors and inviting people to see what we are doing for young people we are getting the charity recognised locally.
“Looking ahead, we’re also hoping to develop links with employers in the Piece Hall when it opens next year so that we can find more apprenticeship opportunities there for local young people.”
Lorna Butterick from Project Challenge said the day went brilliantly. “Today was a chance to showcase what we do at Project Challenge,” said Lorna. “There were young people demonstrating their first aid skills and in the Mac Suite we held a CV workshop. This was part of the employability workshop run by Halifax mortgage managers.”
Project Challenge works in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group as part of the bank’s Helping Britain Prosper vision. In these sessions young people learn how to create CVs and take part in interactive communication exercises to build self-confidence. These Make Me Ready workshops, funded by Public Health and supported by Working Wonders and C&K Careers, aim to fill young people with motivation and confidence about themselves and their career goals.
Make Me Ready
Prince Edward chatted to Dani Whiting who is on Jobseeker’s allowance and wants to be a tattoo artist and to Ebone Dewhirst who wants to work in the leisure industry. “The Make Me Ready course is very helpful,” says Ebone. “We’ve been learning job interview skills so we know what to say and how to act at interviews and I’ve had help with putting my CV on job websites.”
The aim of the workshops is to increase participants’ confidence and ensure they are work-ready for upcoming employment and apprenticeship opportunities. The young people told Prince Edward why they are taking part in the workshop and what they hope to achieve at the end, giving him an insight into how the support provided gives them the skills to progress.
“Prince Edward is now patron of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and we presented three young people who have received the Gold Award to him,” adds Lorna. “He spoke to each of them individually.”
The Prince also met Josh Mills, a Working Wonders apprentice who now has an apprenticeship at Pennine Housing. According to Christine Eccles, Senior Skills & Enterprise Officer at Together Housing, “Josh is now forging ahead with his apprenticeship in joinery at Pennine Housing. Working in partnership with the team at Working Wonders is proving to be very successful. Josh is one of three recently recruited new apprentices who have all received support from them. Working Wonders is proving to be a great support for young people in the Calderdale area.”
The C&K Careers team were introduced to Prince Edward too. They provide careers information advice and guidance to young people in Calderdale.
“For C&K Careers, the royal visit shows recognition for the different types of support we provide to young people and identifies the strong partnerships between us, Project Challenge, Working Wonders and Orangebox to help young people reach their full potential,” says Jill Meade, C&K Careers Participation Team Manager.
“This visit has helped inspire young people to do well, as well as encourage more to access the services we offer to help them move towards their life goals.”