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Apprentice uses new skills to help others into employment and training

A teenager from Blackburn who secured a job via an employment and training project funded by Newground Together is now using his skills to help other people into learning and work.

Reuben Wingfield, 18, was taken on as an apprentice at Community Solutions North West thanks to Newground Together, the charitable arm of Together Housing Group, which funded the Digital Dynamics programme. The programme was designed to provide opportunities for unemployed people and those with health conditions to access pathways to employment through media and marketing initiatives.

Reuben’s colleagues were so impressed that since completing his training, he has been offered a permanent position.

In addition to developing some of Community Solution’s volunteers into Digital Champions, Reuben has been instrumental in setting up a photography group.

He said: “This has been a great opportunity to demonstrate my creative flair and share my new skills with others. I have helped to identify and support participants who are keen to get into employment or training and have an interest in photography and promotions to get involved, reignite their passion and improve their chances of securing employment.”

One of the volunteers has gone on to set his own business as a videographer, photographer and graphic designer and has since worked with clients such as footballer Jesse Lingard’s clothing label JLingz, Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity and restaurant chain Wasabi.

Malcolm Knight, originally born in Harare, Zimbabwe but now based in Manchester, explains why he got involved in Digital Dynamics: “The opportunity to create content that shared people’s stories of really important subjects was something that was too good to not be involved with.

“Being involved helped me by enhancing my skills. I was able to lead projects, learn how to use software, learn how to manage and organise schedules to work to deadlines. Also it helped me with my confidence because I learnt to communicate with people from different backgrounds and understand their story and how we can communicate that through media.”

Reuben and Malcolm are just two of the success stories from the project. Other positive outcomes include:

  • 82% of people reported improved emotional or physical wellbeing
  • 52% reported being less isolated
  • 64% reported having made positive progression
  • 71% reported a reduction in risk taking behaviours

Digital Dynamics is the latest in a series of Community Solutions North West projects to be supported by Newground Together following the success of Interconnect, a project aimed at improving employment opportunities, reducing social isolation and improving health and wellbeing, and Community Connections, which saw the restoration of Elmfield Hall as a training kitchen.


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