Olympic hero Dame Kelly Holmes joined Changing Lives in Newcastle to celebrate the success of local young people who had completed the Get on Track programme over the summer.
Get on Track is a national programme for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust using mentor athletes to help disadvantaged young people change their lives for the better. In Newcastle, Changing Lives was the delivery partner of the Get on Track programme in Summer 2016.
Stephen Bell OBE, the CEO of Changing Lives, said:
“We are delighted to be partners with Dame Kelly Homes Trust, the first programme was a great success and resulted in 50% of the young people securing employment.
“The programme helped to build their confidence and self-esteem and encouraged the young people to believe in themselves which is what so many of our clients need.”
5 of the young people that took part in the Get On Track programme over the summer were in attendance at the celebration event. They took part in a Q&A session and shared their experiences of the programme.
Since taking part in the Get On Track programme, two of the 5 young people are in paid employment. They spoke of how much their confidence had grown since taking part.
At the celebration event, held at Virgin Money in Gosforth, Dame Kelly Holmes announced her vision to help 2,000 young people in Newcastle over the next 4 years by using world class athletes as mentors.
“We work with some of the hardest to reach and disadvantaged young people in society, including those who are homeless, full-time carers, at risk of sexual exploitation or long-term unemployed.
“I believe sometimes all people need is an opportunity to change.”
– Dame Kelly Holmes
World class athletes currently delivery programmes in the region include Olympic swimmer James Kirton, professional footballer Chris Elliot, international badminton player Jenny Wallwork and Great Britain rugby league player Paul Broadbent.
The celebration event was hosted by the athletes that had been mentors to the young people over the summer, and provided attendees little tasters of the kinds of activities that took place over the summer.
Attendees welcomed Tre Amici from Hull, to Newcastle too, as they performed at the opening and close of the event.