CSW Welcomes Two New Community Engagement Advisers

Welcome Beth Pegler and Sarah Clark

As new members of the Community Engagement Advisers Team, we thought we would take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and let you know about our experiences with CSW to date.

Prior to this role, Beth worked as a Pre-release Practitioner for HMP Exeter. This allowed her to gain invaluable experience in dealing with disengaged and disadvantaged people who need help with accessing the available support. Sarah has come from a background in teaching and youth support work, gaining valuable skills in working with young people aged 5-16 and their families to impact learning and development of skills.

We have joined the team at an especially busy time of year as many calls are made to identify young people who did not continue on to further education or employment and training options at the start of term, and offer them advice and support.

As part of our induction, we were tasked with linking with local training providers to understand the provisions and help we can offer Young People. We have been amazed at the number of service providers we will be able to signpost our caseload to when they are ready – from 1:1 mentoring via CSW’s project #Focus Five to help a young person take the smallest first steps to be able to engage, to the learning offer from our Smart Skills project as well as our ESF NEETs project, and many others which will help young people to develop employability skills and confidence for their next step.

We have met both virtually and in person with a wide range of providers across the Exeter and wider Devon area. Although these training providers all vary in the roles they offer Young People, it is clear we share the goal of supporting NEET young people to engage and enter a positive outcome.

We have received a warm welcome from all those we have met so far – all are aware of CSW group and all keen to ensure we reach the right young people with the right offer for them. We have also been welcomed at the Exeter Works Hub and will be a regular presence there to allow us to continue to promote the work of CSW, connect with other providers and offer a face-to-face meeting place for our caseload.

We are grateful to our CEA team for the warm welcome and constant support they are offering us and look forward to working alongside them in the months to come. What has become apparent in our first few weeks at CSW that CEAs bridge the gap between young people who struggle to find their calling, and the education, employment or training that will help them get there.

We are excited by the opportunity we will have in this role to build valuable links with young people, many of whom will have been disconnected from the world of learning and work for some time. We are energized and ready to help NEET young people to design their own pathways onto a better future of opportunities and potential to achieve their aspirations and goals.