Open Doors UK & Ireland - Eddie Lyle - CEO Open Doors UK & Ireland
"When a young person is excluded from school the reasons are always complex. Genuine solutions for “disengagement” are few and far between and are of course equally complex. No quick fix solutions exist and that is why providers of such specialist services like Synolos are rare and need to be adequately resourced and supported over the long term by both local government and the community as a whole. Synolos in my opinion is a league leader and innovator of life transforming programmes for these young people. Without Synolos some of the most vulnerable in our society will be forgotten and years of investment in their education and development will be squandered. Such a waste of human potential and precious resources is irreprehensible and should be totally unacceptable in our society. I fully support this significant organisation and its leadership and trust that others will also do the same."
Base 33 - Base 33
"I believe that the service that Synolos CiC offer is invaluable and that you provide a well needed gap for the young people who would not be accepted into mainstream college or are not ready themselves to do this. You build up their confidence and self-esteem and they learn a skill at the same time and gain a qualification. These young people then feel valued and ready to face the world of work or education. The young people are treated with respect and thus return this respect mutually, your project mirrors the morals and values we have as youth workers at Base 33.
You work well with services like ourselves to engage young people and seek the help of other agencies if things come up with these young people that you may not be resourced to help with. Working well with agencies then enables you to signpost young people and allows you to provide a level and duty of care for the health and well being of young people that other projects may not be able to offer.
Your project also offers a lot of variety and options for young people to try different things out without being penalised if they decide not to carry on with something."
Witney Hub - Leandra Edmands - Hub Support Worker - Early Intervention Team
"I would like to say how fortunate we are to have Synolos in our area. They are not only able to offer a wide range of training opportunities, but also work with clients who have special needs, to those who have decided not to go to University. Barry, Lee and Trudi always do their very best to support young people, and have a flexible approach to those suffering high anxiety or mental illness, so they can attend to suit their needs, and as their confidence grows, to begin to interact and develop.
We do have other training schemes in our area, but the flexibility, different training schemes and support of Synolos, (and young people receiving an allowance) often leads to many of the young people we work with, being referred here first.
Long may it continue,"
Prospects - Sally Stafford - Prospects
"I refer to Synolos on a regular basis due to their uniqueness in the service that they provide. As a specialist NEET worker out of Witney hub I work with young people who might be considered some of our most vulnerable. The young people I meet often struggle with the idea of full time study within mainstream college due to lack of confidence and self-esteem, size of teaching groups, or all number of reasons. My young people often comment that they find Synolos to have more of a nurturing ethos, and welcome students who may not otherwise return/continue in education/training.
They say they like the small groups, and sometimes one on one teaching and support they receive. They like the opportunity to study more than one subject if they want to so they can get a feel for what they want to do in the future. For some students full time education may seem too much and could set them up to fail as they need a slow return to study. For some it’s about getting used to routine. Some students I have referred to Synolos will be going on to Abingdon and Witney College in September now their confidence has grown. I value the dedication and input the staff put in to making Synolos successful and think their service is fundamental in contributing to the success of our local young people.
"I have worked with vulnerable unemployed young people in Witney since the inception of the ESF Leap Project in 2011. I have referred young people to Synolos and they have been able to attend taster sessions before committing to an accredited programme. Synolos offers a wide range of vocational courses which appeals to young people who may have struggled with academic life and who are keen to get practical experience in a job area as well as a qualification. The small workshops are an excellent example of how practical ‘hands on ‘ experience can lead to success. Management and staff at Synolos have experience of dealing successfully with a wide range of clients from diverse backgrounds. The approach helps young people to understand and meet the demands of the ‘world of work.
The roll on roll off recruitment approach offers an opportunity for young people who may have dropped out of further education or employment to keep in learning without having to wait for an academic year to start. I believe that Synolos offers a creative and practical approach for unemployed young people in Witney. It is flexible and offers a new start to many young people who lack confidence and it gives them a chance to gain knowledge and skills. The small workshops help young people to gain team building skills. They may have lacked these skills in their social and educational settings in the past. Synolos recognises achievements and helps young people to build on their successes. I believe that all of the young people’s endeavours are grounded firmly in the Synolos business environment. Young people produce items in the workshops and this product is then on display in the Synolos Witney retail shop which gives a real sense of purpose and worth. This is an excellent working model for young people to understand their role within a business and about how businesses operate