On Stephen Lawrence Day, Skills 4 Work (Gateshead) ran a ‘Come Dine with Us’ event for over 20 young people, aiming to break down barriers and address different topics about backgrounds, skills and strengths by discussing issues around diversity and creating strategies to best deal with them.
Though at first the young people were shy about speaking up, by the end of the session everyone was engaging positively with each other and sharing their own experiences. This feeling of inclusivity was compounded by a cooking session, where all the attendees made hand-made pizzas to share with family and friends at a sit-down meal.
The Community Officers running the event said that they saw a ‘revolutionary change’, and felt that attendees had been inspired to ‘live their best life’. One young person stated, ‘Because of today, I understand disability more’, while another felt ‘inspired by Stephen’s story’ and had ‘gained a greater understanding of diversity’.
The event was a great success and the community officers reported that the young people were positively engaged. We were told that at first the young people were afraid to speak up but by the end of the session, were sharing their experiences. In those few hours, they saw a revolutionary change in the young people and saw the imprint of inspiration depart with them to go out into the world to ‘live their best life’.
Skills 4 Work (Gateshead) supports young adults with a variety of disabilities and/or mental health conditions to make the difficult transition from education to the workplace while maintaining positive mental wellbeing. They were a recipient of one of our Stephen Lawrence Day small grants, and work predominantly in Durham.