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Meet the Progress Partner: Groundwork West Midlands

We chat to Progress Coach, Dean Marks who tells us what he enjoys most about working with young people and why they deserve a lot more credit! 

Tell us a bit about your organisation…

Groundwork West Midlands aims to help people and organisations make changes to create better neighbourhoods, to build skills and job prospects, and to live and work in a greener way.

What is your role in the Progress programme?

I’m a Progress Coach and work to support young people who are not in any form of education, employment or training with intensive 1:1 support to get them into a positive destination or reintegrated back into the education system. I also work to support young people who are aged 15 and are at serious risk of becoming NEET.

Why do you think that this programme is important to the young people enrolled on it?

This programme offers young people, who sometimes feel forgotten, a chance to access support to get on the right path to success. This programme is not about numbers it is about life-changing opportunities and the partnership allows young people to access so much more than if they were just working with one organisation alone.

What surprises you the most about working with young people?

The issues and barriers young people face from day to day and the way they rise to the challenge of overcoming barriers. Young people can be a lot more resourceful than we give them credit for and I myself feel inspired by working with some of them.

What would be your words of wisdom to any business or organisation who is considering getting involved with Progress?

Progress is a fantastic opportunity to work with some great organisations that make a real difference to people’s lives. There is no other programme like this for young people and the people that work within the partnership are passionate about what they do. Young people get a bad press sometimes but the people we work with are genuinely inspirational the way they work to overcome their personal barriers and are a credit to their own generation.

To find out more about the Progress Partnership, please click here.