19 year old Francis from Northfield in Birmingham has founded his own charity with the help of Susan Bernard from Gateway Family Services.
One in five young people is now without a job. So it’s tough to find work or even work-experience. It’s especially tough to find work you really want to do, but with the help of Gateway Family Services one young man is beginning to make a dream come true – a dream he didn’t even know he had. Six months ago he didn’t have a job – now he’s started his own charity.
Last summer Francis left University without knowing what to do next. He was struggling to find full time work and couldn’t see much hope for the future.
He heard about one of our ‘Back to Work’ events, he wasn’t sure it was for him, but went along anyway and met Susan Bernard. Susan is a Gateway Family Services Key Worker, funded by the Big Lottery. Her role is to advise and support people to get the skills they need to find work – and that’s what she did for Francis.
He’d got some ideas about voluntary work with young people and children; he loved football, and he’d heard about a charity in the Cameroon that was helping young people through the sport. He wanted to get involved, he wanted to help. Then he had an idea of setting up his own charity to work with the one in Cameroon – but didn’t know where to start.
But Susan did. With her local knowledge and contacts, Francis found the right people to talk to; he got the right experience and the right help. From first aid qualifications to business advice. So, with Susan’s encouragement and support he set up his own charity. Based on the principles of ‘Football4Action’ it’s called ‘Rural Development Centre UK’ or RUDEC UK, and it aims to equip young people in Cameroon with the skills to make a difference to their local community and a difference to their own future.
Francis has found more support, from two other charities – Edward’s Trust and Acorns, and from Waitrose in Harborne – and Susan is still supporting him too. In June he will be making his first trip to Cameroon to see at first hand the challenge for his charity.
So – in a few short months, a young man who didn’t know what to do has found the direction he wants to take with the help of Susan and Gateway Family Services.