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Young people facing disadvantage in Blaenau Gwent to be mentored by World Class athlete

Young adults in Blaenau Gwent are being encouraged to sign up for a motivational programme that uses world-class athletes to help people lead positive lives.

The unique 14-month programme Get on Track – delivered by national charity Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – is being delivered in Blaenau Gwent following its success across other parts of the UK at providing young people facing disadvantage with the attitudes and capabilities to make positive life choices.

Local organisation Tai Calon Community Housing Limited has formed a new and exciting partnership with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to enhance the lives of young people in and around the town is supporting the Get on Track programme, run by the Trust, throughout March, April and May.

The programme will be led by former Welsh 15's Rugby International and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete mentor, Philippa Tuttiett. With the help of an athlete mentor, local young people will learn to develop the high performing attitudes of confidence, resilience, determination, focus and motivation from the course.

Get on Track is designed to inspire confidence and trust, build team skills, personal awareness and engage young people in a series of high energy sessions. Top athletes act as mentors for 16 to 25-year-olds to help them reach their potential.

Last year, 68% of the 16 to 25 year-olds who took part in Get on Track across the UK entered employment, education or training within eight months of starting the programme. Independent research shows that the Trust’s transformational young people programmes have had a combined social value of £23 million since 2012 to the UK economy.

Double Gold Olympian and President of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Dame Kelly Holmes said: “We are delighted to be in Blaenau Gwent running our flagship programme Get on Track, which will help transform the lives of so many people facing disadvantage across the city.

“It is independently established that world-class athletes have a unique set of attitudes and capabilities which has led them to reach the pinnacle of elite-level competition. We harness these and use them to transform the lives of young people who require our support and equip them with the skills needed to lead positive lives.”

Ex Welsh 15's Rugby International and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete mentor, Philippa Tuttiett, has been a Dame Kelly Holmes Trust mentor since 2016 and has a worked on a range of programmes.

Philippa added: “As an athlete mentor I enjoy being able to give back to other young people and helping to give them an alternative as well as more positive role models and goals to aspire to. Dame Kelly Holmes Trust works with young people from all walks of life who are facing some sort of disadvantage in their lives and the positive change in individuals from start to finish is exceptional to see."

Ross Watts, Head of Communities at Tai Calon Community Housing Limited said: “We are extremely excited by the prospect of working with a national charity on a local level in order to support young people to improve their lives: this was simply an opportunity to good to miss.

“We know that many young people in the area just need a positive role model and a second chance to kick start their journey back to employment and or education. Blaenau Gwent has a rich sporting history and the fact that we will use the positive attributes of elite level sports men and women in the process of unlocking young people’s potential is truly innovative, we can’t wait to get started.”

Double Olympic gold medallist, Dame Kelly Holmes, set up her charity in 2008, which has now reached over 300,000 young people facing disadvantage across England, Scotland and Wales through its transformational and inspirational programmes.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust has committed to support 6874 young people facing disadvantage in Wales over the next three years through its transformational mentoring programmes led by world class athletes.

Funding for Get on Track Blaenau Gwent was also made possible thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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