James Halliday and his journey with EXPECT Youth

18 April 2018

As an organisation EXPECT Youth ensures that high quality youth provision is available to all young people across the borough; encouraging all types of opportunities. We give young people the opportunity to get involved with apprenticeship schemes that allow them to give back to their community and provide access to a diverse range activities.

One prime example of a young person from Doncaster taking their next steps with EXPECT is James Halliday from Rossington. After being offered a position by the Strategic Development Director Peter Norman and one of our board members who has mentored James post school Jon Whiteley the Deputy Chief Executive of DCLT.

James didn’t engage well in school and struggled to find a career path that excited him, until he found his passion in helping his local community. This is when he decided to venture out and test himself by becoming an apprentice at Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT). Through this he gained valuable qualifications and experience in leisure and community development, broadening the amount of opportunities available to him.

His apprenticeship involved working with hard to reach groups; whilst simultaneously running activity programmes in Rossington, providing young people with a variety of activities over their summer holidays. These session pushed James out of his comfort zone and gave him responsibility in handling the application and bid process for the activity programme; which he said ‘had given him the confidence and valuable skills to apply for future job opportunities.’

Unfortunately due to changes the Rossington Youth Club closed down after James completed his apprenticeship, to dismay of the local community. But through his success in these sessions James was asked by one of our board members (who is also the chief executive of DCLT), to join EXPECT and re-opened Rossingtons local youth club and continue the work he had begun. James of course accepted and he now dedicates his time to giving the young people around the Rossington area a place to go and socialise; engaging them in positive activities.

Over the course of his time with EXPECT Youth James has had some great achievements; but one he is most proud of is his contribution to the Department for Educations Opportunity Area that lead him to meet Minister Nadhim Zahawi who was exceedingly impressed with the work of James and Expect Youth. Being a young and less fortunate individual himself; it was a chance for James to share his journey as an example of what EXPECT Youth aspires to achieve for every young person in our region. James spoke at the Department for Educations Opportunity Area official launch about how he has developed as a young person from the work organisations and EXPECT Youth partners deliver in our community and that he aspires to help develop more young people in his own career.

Since his speech at the Opportunity area launch, he has started to work alongside a team that involves alternative education; with some passionate young peple that attend St Wilfrids Academy. He has also applied to be on UK YOUTH'S young person voice making an event greater impact on the lives of other young people; he says he's "Optimistic in regards to the future of Doncaster for young people and really happy to be apart of EXPECT Youth".