The Building Futures Group (BFG) is an exciting training and development programme for young people with a learning disability. Building Futures is a full-time option that runs 4 days per week.
The BFG supports young people to gain confidence and increase their ability to make informed choices about their future. The Building Futures Group provides life-skills training to prepare young people for independence by helping to develop confidence and teach leadership and team work. Young people on Building Futures have the opportunity to explore new things and to take part in a wide range of activities within the community with the support of the Building Futures team.
Young people taking part in Wider World, Gym and 1:1 Session
We work together with a range of partner organisations such as Surrey Outdoor Learning (SOLD) at Henley Fort, where the group learns skills such as rock climbing, canoeing, low rope courses and cooking on an open fire. All of these activities are completed at the appropriate level and pace for the young person. The group also volunteer around the Guildford area with organisations such as the Joining In project and the Growth Team, which includes tasks such as leafletting and gardening in the local community.
Young people taking part in outdoor and team building activities
The BFG has helped young people to develop practical and personal skills from attending the programme. This has enabled them to make informed choices about their future and create independent and fufilled lives. Over the 3-year-long programme, young people are supported in developing a Circle of Support and in drawing up a Person Centred Plan (PCP) outlining their life goals.
Young people volunteering and being part of the community
Examples of goals have included travelling independently using the bus and working towards better time management. We have had a number of young people who having completed BFG have gone on to join Peer to Peer and some have even been able to get a paid job, thanks to their PCP. Previous students have made the following achievements:
- Live independently
- Returned as Peer to Peer volunteers
- Joined halow's Youth Committee
- Undertaken work experience
- Volunteered within the community
- Participated in halow's other projects
- Worked with employment agencies in the local area
- Passed driving test
- Met up with young people socially outside of BFG
- Secured dream job
- Appeared on popular TV series, 'The Autistic Gardener'
- Undertaken courses with Surrey Adult Learning including Photography, Dance, Cooking and Art.
Example of a young person's feedback of the Building Futures Group:
Which sessions of BFG do you enjoy the most?
"Relationships, rock climbing and canal boats."
How has BFG helped you?
"It has helped my confidence. I gained friendships and have learned new things. It has helped me with my listening skills."
What does the BFG programme mean to you?
"BFG is fun! You can socialise with friends and experience things I wouldn't otherwise for example cooking and learning about different religions."
Not everyone looking at the BFG website would know what BFG do. What would you tell them to help them understand?
"It helps people with learning disabilities to live and be more independent and helps us to not stay at home doing nothing."
Building Futures runs four days per week for approx. 6 hours a day for 49 weeks of the year. There is a cost for this programme and is therefore suitable for young people with their own funding or a personal budget. For more information or to refer a young person to this program please contact Graham.