Dynamic duo help youths fulfil their potential through sport and the arts in Barking
An award-winning organisation is helping challenged youngsters fulfil their potential through non contact boxing, education and the arts.
Here, the Post reports on the work of two inspired women fighting for social justice to put the lives of young offenders and vulnerable Neets (young people not in education, employment or training) back on track.
Educators Sarah Robertson and Dawn Quye-Joyce decided to team up in Barking in 2010 with a common vision to help young people back into training, education and employment.
The duo set up a not-for-profit organisation called Future M.O.L.D.S Communities and enlisted volunteers to deliver activities including women’s football, job clubs and qualifications.
The fruit of their labour was rewarded when FMC scooped two awards at Barking and Dagenham Business Awards held at the Broadway Theatre in The Broadway, Barking, on July 3.
The pair picked up a gong for community involvement and another for supporting education, training and development.
Dawn, 37, said: “Winning these two awards are a real proud moment for the team.
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“They reflect the great commitment of our team of volunteers, who are dedicated to bringing change to their local community.
“We thank our team, without them we would be unable to deliver the degree and quality of work that we do.”
Dawn and Sarah, 35, have introduced a job club and a boxing training project called Boxfit at the Barking Foyer in Wakering Road, which gives a roof to young people at risk of becoming homeless.
The workers say Boxfit is a tool to promote healthy living, reduce isolation and gives participants Amateur Boxing Association awards.
The awards go towards qualifications given by a UK charity called the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network.
The social enterprise has also given support to excluded pupils and worked with the Catch 22 charity, which assists former offenders.
FMC has set up a women’s football team with funding from the Council for Voluntary Service and Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Trust.
Dawn and Sarah have also organised art sessions with Studio 3 Arts an art company based in Abbey Road, Barking, and delivered projects in schools including Valence Primary in Bonham Road, Dagenham.
FMC is now looking at opening its own base in Barking and Dagenham to expand the organisation and deliver its services in-house.
The new premises would also help to increase the gamut of activities it offers and hopefully take on more volunteers.
Dawn said: “We’re looking at moving to our own skills centre. It will be based within Barking and Dagenham.
“This is a strategic plan for the future. It will be hopefully in the next year or so.
“It will have enough space to provide free, positive activities as well as our accredited training.
“We’ll grow our volunteer base. We’ve got 12 active volunteers at the moment. We’re hoping to increase the turnover by 50.
“There will be new services as well. A lot of our projects come from our volunteers so as the volunteer base develops that will bring in new projects.”
The social enterprise has helped 300 people since its launch in September 2010.
Ultimately the educators would like to cut the overall number of Neets in Barking and Dagenham.
“We’d like to decrease amount of Neets,” Dawn explained. “It’s about identifying people’s barriers, identifying what’s preventing them from accessing education. It’s about highlighting these barriers and breaking down these barriers.
“Part of our plan is for sustainability. We’d like to grow. That would mean employing new people, employing some of our volunteers.
“At the moment we travel to deliver projects. We’d like to deliver them all in house so that we can provide a true drop-in service.”
FMC said the secret of its success was offering tailored services to young people for sustained periods of time.
Dawn added: “We aim to identify and challenge social injustice and help others do the same.
“FMC believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn through experience.”