Helping young people develop their skills and maximise their own potential is at the very heart of the work being undertaken by Adam Bowden.
The 23-year-old is one of the many devoted staff of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Services For Young People who has gained his qualifications as a youth worker through the Youth Accreditation Programme, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Adam, a former pupil at Ysgol Gyfun y Cymer, knows only too well the frustrations and disappointments of a young person trying to find their way in life as he climbs the career ladder to equip himself with a rewarding and fulfilling future.
Adam’s time is shared between working for Services for Young People as a Trainee Youth Accreditation Worker and as a youth worker at Tylorstown Youth Club, while also studying for his degree in Youth and Community studies. And with the little time he has spare, he delivers meals to people’s homes as part of the Council’s Catering Services programme.
With a passion for music, Adam completed a BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology at Coleg Morgannwg in Llwynypia and then continuing his education at the University of Glamorgan. After a short period on the “Live Event” course, it became apparent this was not the career path he wanted to continue. Disappointed and frustrated he left prematurely and found temporary work in various places.
“Undertaking this type of work gave me an insight into myself,” he explained. “And clearly being stuck in the 9 ‘til 5 rut was not for me. Similarly, neither was the thought of being unemployed either.
“I was interested in working with young people and began to undertake voluntary positions at Tylorstown Youth Club. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the young people of Tylorstown and I really wanted to gain qualifications and more experience in this field.”
After completing the Introduction To Youth Work course that the Youth Accreditation Team, Adam went on to the next step of Level 3. With the Level 3’s fieldwork hours requirements, Adam volunteered at Ysgol Gyfun Y Cymer’s youth club.
“It was just what I needed to complete my 60-hours fieldwork experience,” he explained. “Volunteering in both youth clubs helped me gain my Level 3 in Youth Work.”
Appreciating the Service’s requirements for a Degree in Youth Work, Adam began his Degree in Youth & Community Studies earlier this year.
“Gaining this degree will help my chances of a continual and successful career in RCT’s Services For Young People,” he added.
“I know the type of challenges young people face because I’ve seen it for myself and still I’m working towards gaining new skills and experiences for my own personal development. In doing so I hope I’m contributing something towards the development of those younger than myself, which ultimately is what the Service is all about.”
After gaining further experience with the Council’s Cultural Services team and Sonig Music Industry, Adam’s full time employment in Services For Young People began with the Trainee Youth Accreditation Worker position as of May 2011.
With a genuine enthusiasm for helping young people develop, Adam is also gaining his own personal development, skills and experience as an accredited youth worker in his own right.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Cllr Eudine Hanagan said, “Individuals like Adam epitomise the enthusiasm, passion and fulfillment felt by those who work in our Services for Young People team.
“Here is a young man who initially remained undecided – as so many young people are – of what path they wish to take in their life. Through his work with Services for Young People he has found a deep interest and tireless enthusiasm as a youth worker and is gaining excellent qualifications for the future.
”We commend Adam for all of his achievements to date and look forward to his continued development through the service and also the major contribution he will continually make to other young people in the County Borough.”