Fit In More Ways Than One

A new pilot project is helping to get a group of 16 to 18 year olds fit in more ways than one.

The 10 young people, from the District of Easington, have recently enrolled on the new ‘Fit for Work’ programme at East Durham College.

The idea behind the programme is to help young people, who are out of work and not in education, to become fit for work - both physically and mentally.

As part of the seven week programme the students will undergo a body health MOT and series of fitness sessions with Sunderland AFC Foundation’s Active Bus team.

This will enable them to test their fitness levels at the start and end of the programme, so they can see what progress they have made in a number of different areas of their physical fitness. They will monitor criteria such as weight, body fat mass and skeletal muscle mass.

Steve Colquhoun, Fit for Football Coordinator with SAFC, explains: “We have 100% record at helping people improve their fitness. We help support people with areas such as health, fitness, exercise and diet.”

The students will also take part in work placements with local engineering and manufacturing employers, as well as sessions on basic skills and employability skills at the College. In addition, they will spend four days with Infinite Learning & Development which incorporates sessions at their simulated working environment. This is a mock-up working production line which will help the students to understand the nature of this type of work and if it’s for them.

Julie Mordue, Director of Skills & Workforce Development at the College, said: “Fit for Work has been designed to provide the students with a range of experiences and learning opportunities that they can really engage with.

“It aims to help them to understand the need to be physically active and to learn the importance of personal commitment, effort and endeavour. We really want to help motivate them to want to better themselves.

“Ultimately the aim is to ensure these young people progress directly from this programme into full time education, an Apprenticeship or employment.”

Student response has been great with feedback including; “good crack”, “feel fitter already” and “canny good” !!!

The project has been funded by the ESF County Durham 14 to 19 Partnership.