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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 173

Date:- 30 October 2004

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Novas Academy pupils rap up 25 years of history

NOVAS Academy a leading educational project for disadvantaged teenagers and adults in Liverpool marked its twenty-fifth anniversary on yesterday in an action-packed evening that will see the release of a new rap single performed by pupils to mark the anniversary and an awards ceremony to recognise significant educational achievements.

The academy has been working with disadvantaged young Black people from Liverpool since 1979, providing educational programs and resources for pupils excluded from mainstream establishments. 

The community-based project was set up to meet the educational needs of Black young people of secondary school age and other young people of this age regardless of racial origin who reside in the Liverpool 8 area.

It also offers learning opportunities to pupil's already in education through after school classes and provides training to adults as mentors and classroom assistants. In February 2003 the academy was recognised by HMI for its outstanding work in promoting inclusion and delivering quality educational services for Black pupils.

Among those been recognised for their efforts on Friday will be three parents Ellen Clinton, Shaheen Quereshy and Karen Platt and four young people for making significant achievements against a number of challenges whilst at Elimu. 

These include Ali Altaie, a 13-year old immigrant from Canada who will be recognised for adapting and integrating into a new school, as well as Aayesha Qureshy and Mohammed Khan who have made significant academic strides despite having English as their second language.

Sherelle Mensah, was also acknowledged. She is the first of her family to go university where she will read midwifery at John Moores University in Liverpool. Other individuals being rewarded include Simon Dykstra, who has graduated as a mentor and secured a post in a local Liverpool school after being unemployed for a number of years, Vincent Griffith who is now employed as a social services support worker and Sandi Hughes, a 60-year-old mentor.

Gloria Hyatt MBE, Head of the Novas Academy said:- "The Academy has for the past 25 years sought to deliver and develop innovative and sustainable solutions to overcome poverty and disadvantage for the Black community in Liverpool.

The achievement made by individuals over those years is a testament and credit to the Academy, but also to the individuals themselves. Many have overcome significant hurdles and barriers in society reaching levels of academic achievement they should be proud of, right through to learning English, becoming mentors or even going onto university."

National Youth workers conference

YOUTH work the partnership aims to equip today's youth worker, not only to face the challenges of a fast changing youth culture, but also to engage with it and to shape it. This vision has resulted in Youth work the Conference, a very successful 3 day event now in its second year. 

The conference held in Southport is extremely popular with both volunteer and salaried youth workers and bookings for the 2004 event have increased by 25%.

The theme for the conference 2004 is Youth work in Widescreen, the bigger picture in brighter colours. Main sessions will look at the call, character, value, concerns and impact of a Youth worker, while over 40 seminars will focus on more specific areas. 

"Youth work the Conference really is a unique event"
, said Jim Partridge, Head of Youth and Student Ministry at Spring Harvest. 

"There's nothing else like it! Youth work at times can be a hard slog, you can feel isolated and like you're the only one going through what you're going through. To have an opportunity to meet with hundreds of others who are asking the same questions is not only a great encouragement, but hopefully serves to create ongoing networks of support throughout the year."

A wide range of subjects will be covered during the conference including Big Issues that young people struggle with such as sex, self-harm and addiction; Personal Development sessions. It looks at how leaders can protect themselves from burnout and maintain their own spiritual development and Ideas Factory for those desperate for inspiration, from creative icebreakers to how to use music or video. 

In free time between sessions, delegates will be able to look around an extensive exhibition area that will bring together resources from various agencies, supporting and equipping youth workers. There will also be an invaluable opportunity for networking and dialogue with other youth workers, helping to build relationships and share experiences. For those wanting to discuss specific issues an advice clinic will be available with a one to one service where you can talk to a member of the team.

Youth work the Conference will take place in Southport from 12 to 14 November 2004. In addition, and new for 2004, is a 24-hour conference for full-time and salaried youth workers from Thursday 11 to Friday 12 November. With input from Duffy Robbins a veteran of youth ministry, this day will focus on how to persevere in youth work for the long term and includes space for refreshment and renewal. 

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