The Taranaki Young Peoples Trust offer a range of services for the youth of Taranaki. One service in particular is the Alternative Education programme. This programme offers students between the age of 13 and 16, the opportunity to engage in education, not only in the core areas like Mathematics and English but also practical skills including cooking on a budget and sustainable living practices. The programme is based on the premise that all students can achieve when they are given the right guidance, support, resources and opportunities. The Young Peoples Trust has the ability to give these structures and support to students that struggle to receive these from the mainstream schooling system.
The alternative education programme offers fundamental core learning like literacy, numeracy and preparation for the workforce. We also offer personalised workshops including health issues, stress management, grief issues, cooking, budgeting, effective communication, drug and alcohol issues, and violence prevention. We understand that the students may not have had the same opportunities as other students in the schooling system, therefore the Young Peoples Trust endeavour to offer experiences which are helpful and enhance their social, mental and intellectual abilities. We at the Young Peoples Trust foster the development of skills that are useful for the students’ future and enhance the skills the students already possess.
The Young Peoples Trust focuses on empowering the students to make positive changes in their lives that are both healthy and legal. The students are given the opportunity to engage in activities that promote healthy living, exercise, team membership, self-determination and improve their confidence and self-esteem. The ‘Cooking on a Budget Workshop’ is one held every Monday morning and enables the students to learn about food preparation and skills in a kitchen setting. This workshop teaches the students that they can make healthy and delicious meals that are cheap, simple and nutritious. The Cooking on a Budget workshop leaves the students with a feeling of satisfaction and pride about having achieved the task of cooking a meal.
The alternative education programme at the Young Peoples Trust not only gives the students access to education but also to a range of social services. These services include counselling, consultancy, advocacy, support, referrals, advice, to name a few. The Young Peoples Trust pride themselves in giving the students a safe, non-judgemental, culturally sensitive space where they are free from prejudice and empowered to grow as individuals.