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Newhaven Fusion

"My name is Helena Gackowska and I am a support worker at Newhaven Foyer. I supported the young people that attended the Grit five day intensive in March of 2018. 

At the beginning of the week, the young people didn’t know what to expect and many of them were testing boundaries and finding their feet with the course. We had a few young people drop out within the first couple of days, and although this was a shame, it enabled the remaining young people to solely concentrate on their own personal development. 

The trainer, Cara, was excellent- she is very engaging and very good at coaching the young people when they are talking about difficult past experiences. She was able to assist them in making sense of what has happened in their past and helped them to analyse how this impacts them in their current circumstances. 

Although the curriculum is quite abstract as it is full of concepts and ideas, the trainer effectively talked them through the course and how it could impact their lives. The practical exercises such as ‘already listening’ were very useful as the young people were able to focus on the thoughts that are always running in their back of their minds which again impact their lives and how they see various situations. 

The young people were excellent in engaging with the course, staff members and each other and continuously offered each other support during the 5 days. Many of them spoke about traumatic past experiences and it was a pleasure to see them all come together in support of each other. 

At the end of the week, many of the young people spoke about the positive impacts that the course has already had and that they had made new friends- something that none of them had anticipated- mostly owing to their trust issues. They all acknowledged the staff- particularly the trainer and were all excited at being matched with a life-coach who is going to work with them for 9 months on the goals of their choice. 

The matching was very effective- the young people and coaches seemed to have been matched very well and were given time and space to get to know each other- both in their pairs and as part of the wider group.

The whole Grit experience was a pleasure for both staff and young people and was truly transformational for all involved- a wonderful programme!"