22-year-old Conor Smith from Pontypool has faced many challenges throughout his childhood. Since the age of four, he has been in care as a looked after child, and has overcome many personal challenges.
Once Conor turned age 16, Torfaen Young People Support Service (TYPSS) supported him to develop his independence and help with his transition into adulthood.
More recently TYPPS referred Conor to the Llamau 'Symud Ymlaen Moving Forward' programme. The project aims to help young people develop skills and experiences which support them into employment. It is funded through Llamau, an organisation that supports vulnerable young people and women who are at risk of homelessness. The project has enabled Conor to take up an apprenticeship with Torfaen Youth Service.
Since he has been on the placement, Conor has worked with many young people in a range of settings. He has supported a project working with young adults with learning difficulties, he has managed activities within youth clubs and at youth festivals. Conor also completed senior members training and completed a level one cookery course
To celebrate his achievements, Conor has recently taken part in a filming project for Llamau, presenting his experiences as a member of Torfaen Youth Service and the challenges he had overcome during his childhood.
Conor said, “I was very sceptical at the start of the programme and was reluctant to take part. I was very grateful for the opportunity and I am over the moon that I have completed the programme.
I do not know where I would be to this day if i had not taken on this fantastic opportunity with Llamau and the Youth Service. Now, my main aspiration is to become a qualified youth worker and study towards a degree in 2019."
Executive Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Mandy Owen added, “Through the Torfaen Youth Service, young people across Torfaen can expect to take part in some incredible experiences and receive a plethora of opportunities.
The apprenticeship scheme has been a huge success in recent years and continues to make a positive difference in young people’s lives, inspiring them to take on new challenges and opportunities in life.”
Torfaen Youth Service have a range of volunteering opportunities for young people as well as the annual apprenticeship scheme. For more information call the team on 01633 648124 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org