The Firm

Joe, India and Sydney joined forces at Deerness Valley Youth Project to form their Key Group, The Firm. The three youngsters began their Key journey by organising inclusive community trips for disadvantaged children and young people from their surrounding area, visiting Wet ‘n’ Wild and Flamingo Land before stepping it up for their next project. 

For Stage 3, the group organised a cancer prevention awareness event which saw the group raise money for Ovarian and Prostate cancer by hosting a coffee morning and doing a sponsored ‘all-nighter’ complete with a Rave Dome. The group invited cancer specialists to attend their coffee morning and give free advice to those in the community about screening, health checks and prevention top tips. The three youngsters put huge amounts of effort into this event and their Key Facilitator couldn’t praise them enough saying “This project gave the group a chance to make a difference relating to a subject matter close to their hearts. It has shown them that there are rewards with hard work and has inspired them to do something more with their lives and within their community.” 

With a big success at stage 3, The Firm wanted to do something bigger and better again. The group came up with the idea of focussing their project on a big community issue – isolated elderly residents. 

After searching for information and getting advice, the firm found that elderly people in their local community struggled over the cold winter period, with many of them struggling to get outdoors and keeping warm. To help combat this problem and make sure the elderly were kept safe and warm, The Firm decided to make them winter care hampers jam-packed with essentials like blankets, socks, hats and a few treats including tea bags, kit kats and lots more food to keep them going over the cold period. 

With the planning in place it was time to pitch their idea. The panel members were impressed with how much work and dedication The Firm had shown through their Key Journey. They were blown away with how the young people searched for information and got advice from regional Age UK workers to help inform them of the big elderly issues their local community. The panel were also wowed by the group’s budget which had been well thought out and detailed. 

A yes at panel saw the group set about purchasing their essentials and packaging the hampers. The group even brokered a deal with the Durham Alliance for Community Care who agreed to support the young people in the delivery of their hampers in the community. 

Just like their previous projects, their Stage 4 project was a huge success and even saw them being featured in the Age UK regional newsletter which the group were very proud of! 

As a result of completing The Key Framework, their Key Facilitator has seen a marked improvement in the young people. She said “The Key Framework has been a great experience for my group of young people, they have reached stage 4 and are so proud of themselves. They can see how much they have improved individually and as a group.” 

“The fact that they even got to stage 4 has massively improved their self-belief and self-worth. Since taking part they have become more interested and engaged in other community events and are more interested in what is happening around them. Two of the group now volunteer in the community. One has signed up with Age UK County Durham and the Joe now wants support other young people to get the experience that they got by becoming a Key Facilitator.”