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Written by Paula Charalambous Posted in General Advice


“This is amazing”,  “about time this happened...” “What a lovely thing...” “How the community is going to benefit from this”... ”just what the Young People need...” “a great building lovely atmosphere”...”wish I could come”...”how clever, great idea”.

These are some of the comments that were said to me on Wednesday 18 September at the GAPs open day in Cambridge on Nunn’s way, Arbury. Local parents, youth workers, shop owners, community workers, young people, police officers and us! What a lovely day, with lots of young people really interested and eager to see what GAPs was all about.

For young people in Cambridge there has not been many options of where and what to do next after leaving school, there is the College and for many the sixth forms, but for those that just want to break away from that kind of environment and study in a different way there has not been much else to offer.

Working on the Youth Contract and being with the Young People in Cambridge has shown me that most in fact all want something to do after school, especially that fits the way they would like to learn, and it feels to me that this should be an area where all Young People are given the choices and the ability to succeed in this.

GAPs  is exactly that, it is excuse the pun a Gap in the area of choices for that Young Person. With good tutors and manageable time tables, work experience and mentoring this is why this provision is causing excitement among the community in Cambridge.

Talking to the Young People, it is apparent that they want to belong to a community that they can be proud of.  That where they live is something to talk about in a positive way, to communicate with others, and to be supported by all that work with in their community is vital for their well being and gives them goals that are achievable where they thought there were none.

Each generation respecting the other and all backgrounds and cultures of people mixing to give each other an open way of thinking – this is something that all young people want!

The Rose that Grew From Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's law is wrong it le arned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

Tupac Shakur

About the Author

Paula Charalambous

Paula Charalambous

Paula Charalambous is a personal adviser for TCHC. She has worked with young people aged 13-18 for over 15 years. She started off as a youth worker helping young people to set up their own youth clubs and supporting them in their communities.

She has worked for over 10 years in Education as lead Pastoral Carer, helping excluded pupils, offenders and young people with behavioural issues achieve.

She is known for her great behaviour management skills, her ability to work with all young people in a non-judgemental way and being dedicated to helping them to achieve their goals.

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