Testimonials

Simon Clarke MP

I have known Dave King and his team at "Imagine You Can" since shortly after my election in 2017. Dave approached me to support his programme by attending open sessions to answer questions about my role as an MP. The sessions are always structured and well organised as well as, I must admit, challenging and honest! Dave and his team have also managed to provide me with two of the most memorable moments in my short time as an MP. The first was completely unscripted when I was approached in the High street by a few students who I'd seen earlier that day. They were looking for a photo with their MP "Dabbing" with them so they could show their friends who hadn't attended the programme. The second was getting to meet a young lady by the name of Madison who not only impressed me on the day but went on to hqst the awards night that I was invited to take part in and then to narrate "The Mighty Redcar" which was a national documentary about one of our local towns.I would have no hesitation in supporting Dave in any of his future projects and am already looking forward to meeting a whole host of new attendees on next Summer's programme.

Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland

Andrew Wappat

I have first-hand experience of the work of IYC over the last few years, delivering NCS to students within my schools, both Outwood Academy Bydales in Marske-by-the-Sea, and Outwood Academy Redcar, in Redcar. I liaise closely with Dave over the promotion of both the summer and October half-term schedules, securing high sign-up rates, and also during the summer, sharing photographs and updates on our school social media and website to celebrate the work of students ‘as it happens’, and build interest amongst the next cohort of students who will benefit from the programme. The quality of the NCS programme led by IYC is really impressive, and I am sure that the fantastic experience students receive, and our close liaison over promotion, has led to ever rising numbers of young people receiving a quality experience, and then going on to make such a difference with local social action projects. What makes the programme delivered by IYC so excellent is the attention to detail, the quality of the experiences, and the thought that has gone into the skills that are targeted for development during in particular the second residential week. I thoroughly recommend the IYC team as providers for NCS in my academies. The quality of the residentials, the workshops, and support of students during their social action projects is second to none. The vision of Dave King, and his relentless efforts to promote NCS is nothing short of inspirational.

Principle Outwood Academy & Leader of National Education

Ben Houchen

I am writing to you to give my continued support delivering your excellent projects in Redcar & East Cleveland. I have seen first-hand the quality of your projects over the last 18 months since I became the Elected Mayor of the Tees Valley Combined Authority. As you know I am very supportive of small and large businesses alongside community groups in our area and seeing the way your projects develop our future generation in public speaking, confidence building and the world of work is a real inspiration. The many Social Action projects your students have delivered in our area is truly outstanding along with the media coverage. Also, as well as delivering the numerous projects the amount of funding your students raised for excellent causes last summer 2018 of over £10,000 just shows the talent and motivation of the young people in our area due to being involved. Simon Clarke MP and I were particularly impressed with your attention to detail and the great experience and skills your company gives the students which was very noticeable at your celebration events. We were also impressed with the number of quality businesses, local councillors and community groups in attendance along with parents. I look forward to supporting your projects and hope you will continue for many years to come.

Elected Mayor, Tees Valley Combined Authority

Sir Ian Botham, OBE.

Projects like this are brilliant for our game and encourage youngsters to get involved with sport and performing arts from an early age. The talent on show at the game was superb, not only the performers but the camera and media crew. It's great to see so many young entertainers performing before the match and I give this my full support

English Cricketing Legend

Alan Dennington

The young people from 8 Dartford Schools performed fearlessly in front of 22,000 people and showed what a success the project really is. The media and filming students also created and produced some excellent adverts for the national Make Space for Health programme in conjunction with the 4Children national charity as well as filming and producing a DVD of the whole project. The press conference they held, interviewing myself, was also of a genuinely professional standard and will certainly help significantly improve their communication skills and confidence levels.All students and the club worked well together to produce a very impressive display and the opportunities given to the young people by Imagine You Can are fantastic. The way the project works around match day arrangements involving timings and liaising with club officials is remarkable and the entertainment built a great atmosphere for an important game. It's a pity the match result wasn't as positive as the performance. Charlton Athletic is proud to partner Imagine You Can and will work together again in the future.

Charlton Athletic Community Trust

Amanda Best, NCS Trust.

The Imagine You Can NCS graduation was a fantastic experience; a wonderful celebration of the life-changing experiences for these young people. It was so great to hear their stories direct and feel the pride ripple round the room from the mums and dads as they collected their graduation certificates. Everyone should go to a NCS graduation!

Chief Delivery and Experience Officer · NCS

Royal Air Force

I have had the pleasure to work alongside the Imagine You Can team on numerous RAF leading sporting projects, and I have been incredibly impressed by their ability to completely surpass all expectations, engaging young people of all ages and backgrounds in every instance.

Their projects inspire youngsters to develop and learn new skills, significantly enhancing their confidence, aspirations, communication skills, while at the same time allowing them to self actualise and satisfy their self-esteem.

I have found them particularly helpful in finding solutions to any barriers we may have had and found their approach to be refreshing, innovative, clear and insightful. I can wholeheartedly recommend their projects for those partners looking to make a significant and positive, life changing impact on young people in their respective areas.

 

 

 

Damian Clayton, MBE, Squadron Leader RAF

Claire Wordsworth

I wanted to drop you a line to say what a wonderful experience SABIC UK have had working with Imagine You Can for the Redcar & East Cleveland NCS programme again this year. Dave and the team are so professional, engaging and proactive, I know that the young people taking part in the project benefit immensely from your incredible input. One of our employees' daughters took part this year, and the feedback received has been tremendous. With your excellent communication and networking skills, you manage to pull together a really meaningful and interesting programme. It is also extremely evident how much you care about career opportunities and possibilities for the young people on your course. I really do think that this must be the best programme currently being held in the UK. SABIC would most definitely like to be involved again next year and I can confirm that we would also like to sponsor all four of the social action projects again. I cannot thank you enough for giving so many young people in this part of our region such a brilliant and possibly life-changing experience. I hope that you will be leading the programme for Redcar & East Cleveland for many years to come.

SABIC UK, Snr. Communications Business Partner Corporate Affairs.

Andy McDonald, MP.

I have been delighted to support Imagine You Can on Teesside and the tremendous work you do with young people is crucial. Education and skills can be the silver bullet to many of the most serious issues that we face as a country and a region. These programmes  help to broaden the skills base of our young people and provide them with a head start when entering the world of work. I cannot recommend Imagine You Can highly enough and with your enthusiastic and inspirational leadership I hope that it goes from strength to strength. I look forward to working with you again in future.

MP for Middlesbrough

Mark Calleja

It’s been a real pleasure working with Imagine You Can this summer to deliver our digital making curriculum. Their Team Leaders and Mentors are highly professional and very supportive. It was great to see how engaged the young people were with the work. Highly recommended.

Raspberry Pi Youth Programmes Manager

Michael Vaughan, MBE.

I really enjoyed being involved with the Imagine You Can project, and it was great to be interviewed by such enthusiastic youngsters with intelligent questions. Great communication skills at such a young age is very rare these days. I can see these guys on national TV in years to come so I will be watching out for them.

England Cricket Captain

Jonny Wilkinson, MBE.

I gave my full support to this superb project for our opening game of the season. I had a great time being interviewed by the Imagine You Can marketing pupils. Their interview techniques were excellent and the Pre Match Entertainment show for our opening game was a great spectacle. It was really uplifting running out to warm up and seeing the singers and dancers performing on the pitch. I would like to thank each and every one of them for creating a great atmosphere and look forward to working with the project again.

England Rugby Star

Sheffield United

I have known Dave since working on a South Yorkshire Professional Sports project. He assisted with a number of FA educational events for young people linked to the project which were a great success. I have also worked with Dave on a number of occasions in my capacity of Head of Community at Sheffield United Football Club. There is a strong understanding of how to work with young people of a range of abilities especially those who are hard to reach. The work Imagine You Can do inspires young people and enables them to produce work of very high quality.

Imagine You Can came and performed at Bramall Lane prior to a game and the quality of the performance, and the attitude of the young people was fantastic. It was commented on by those in the club and the fans on the day including corporate guests.

I have also been involved in media events Dave had organised and again the young people involved worked in a way I would expect of professionals. Their interview and filming techniques were excellent and also to learn so much in such a short time was a credit to how Imagine You Can work with young people.

On a personal note, Dave is someone who gets things done. He is highly organised and uses his vast experience to ensure that the right packages are offered to young people so they can achieve. He has worked with a wide range of people in a variety of sectors and this adds to ability to build successful partnerships.

Sue Beeley, Sheffield United Community Trust.

Newcastle Falcons.

I am writing this letter of support for Dave and the great work he has done over the years with Imagine You Can and other education projects. I was Head of Marketing at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and then I held the position of Community Marketing Manager at Premier Rugby Ltd (the organising body of the 12 Premiership Rugby Union Clubs). During this time, I engaged with Dave on various education projects as well as game day events at Twickenham and the RFU Marketing Awards event presentations.

The word that immediately springs to mind with Dave is innovation. He has developed a concept that was new but most importantly exciting, challenging and very rewarding for young people. The education projects worked for all the partners. For schools it engaged the pupils in a way that they previously hadn't been taught. For the clubs involved it offered a completely new way to interact with a group of people who would previously have not considered being involved with professional sport. The young people got a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform on the big stage and meet professional sportsmen.

In each and every project that I partnered Dave with I found him and his staff to be very professional and the work completed on time and to a very high standard. I now work as General Manager for England Rugby 2015, the Tournament Organisers of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The role and scope of the work is very much an operational one but should the opportunity and need ever arise in the future to partner with Imagine You Can, I would not hesitate to do so. 

Mick Hogan.

Howard Webb

My daughter took part in an Imagine You Can Project and had a brilliant time. I took part in one of the media projects in Rotherham and was really impressed with the media and communication skills the students had learned in such a short time. I would recommend this to any parent who wants to see their son or daughter develop skills they would not normally learn at such a young age.

World Cup Referee

Oldham Athletic Football Club.

Dear Dave,

Further to our recent conversation I am writing to confirm our commitment and support for your project. The previous projects we have undertaken with you have proven to be a massive success engaging 16 schools in a variety of activity and these previous projects have enabled us to develop a relationship with these schools to provide further activity with the participants.

The success of the previous projects enables us to develop our activities and provide more than just football to the schools we engage with. We are looking forward to the next project and providing young people with a platform to develop their social and creative skills.

Oldham Athletic Trust

Gareth Jenkins

Having worked as a trainer with several NCS providers across the North East in the last five years, without doubt, Imagine You Can are the best. Organisation - great communication before the training day and on arrival - guaranteed, all the workbooks, feedback forms, pens etc will be ready and waiting. The room will be laid out perfectly and all the participants ready to go. Team Leaders - this project recruits the most supportive, sensitive and engaged team leaders. They are crucial to the success of our public speaking workshop as much of it is done in small groups and is facilitated by the leaders. I’m always impressed how in tune they are with what we are seeking to achieve with each of the activities. Participants - by the time of the workshop they have undertaken several activities including their residential. The quality of the team building Imagine You Can undertake means that when they come to the challenge of public speaking, they are tight knit groups, fully attentive and supportive of each other. This is vital. Appreciation - Dave King and his team welcome you as a valued part of their programme. They are the only NCS provider I have worked with who have not only invited me to their graduation but asked me to be a guest speaker. It was a fabulous evening. I cannot recommend Imagine You Can highly enough and hope they will continue as an NCS provider for many years to come.

Speakers Trust London

Simon Clarke MP & Jacob Young MP

Many thanks for your help with the filming during the General Election campaign in December. As you know I was re-elected to serve as the conservative MP for Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland. It was great to work with your staff and all the young people during Imagine You Can's summer 2019 National Citizen Service and yet again, I really enjoyed the content of the project and how much the
young people were enjoying working with Raspberry Pi, KPMG, SABIC UK, Sirius Minerals and the UK Parliament. I could see how much the students started to understand the World of Work what was needed to get into university and apprenticeships, and I'm looking forward to the 2020 NCS projects.

My good friend Jacob Young is now the new conservative MP for Redcar. As you know Jacob has been involved with your NCS projects over the last few years when he was a councillor and Jacob is also looking forward to being involved with your NCS in the summer also.

I would also like to compliment your NCS staff as they have always been a pleasure to work with. The relationships they had with the young people has always been excellent, especially Kieran, Harry, Lauryn both Amy's Scott and Molly. I hope they will be involved again next summer.

Just so myself and Jacob can make sure our diaries fit with next year's NCS could you please let us know as soon as possible how many Waves you will have and a few options on dates as we would both like to arrange visits for each Wave.

The other idea you mentioned to re-create the TV programme Question Time, with members from other political parties and business leaders with a live audience, and then to film it sounds a great idea. I understand you did this a couple of years ago and it was a great success, so we look forward to the prospect of this as well.

MPs for Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland & Redcar

Dan Dewsbury

For the BBC documentary The Mighty Redcar we wanted to find a young person and give them the chance to be the narrator. Everyone we spoke to recommended Imagine You Can to find young people who were confident and passionate about their area. We met Madison and she told us about her work with Imagine You Can. We thought she was brilliant, and it was clear that the work the IYC had done with her and given her a special kind of confidence I rarely see in my job with people of her age. I can't thank Dave enough for helping us and I think what we've achieved is giving a young person the chance to talk about her area in a way which shows the realities but also shows how proud they are of it too.

Director 72 Films, London. The Mighty Redcar, BBC 2 Documentary.

Cllr, Sue Jeffrey.

Many thanks for sending me the survey results from your latest social action project working with the Friends of Redcar (FRED).Can I first of all say how much I enjoyed meeting the young people involved in the project and answering their questions, they were certainly very aware of the issues facing Redcar, both in relation to the environment of the beach and the wider economic issues that the town is experiencing.I have had some great feedback about the work that was done with FRED to clean up the beach, and the photos are brilliant. It was a particularly good choice of projects as it has given a boost to Redcar at the start of the visitor season. As you know visitors are going to be even more important to our local economy this year given the closure of SSI and the loss of so many jobs.That takes me to the survey. I was not surprised that top of the list was the need to improve the High Street and bring more shops. The Council has been working hard to attract new retailers and it is good to see that this is supported by the majority of people in your survey. The need for more dog bins was also a popular response. Again this is an interesting finding given that it is now possible to dispose of dog waste in any bin, a point we have been advertising widely as part of our current 'pick-up-the-poo' campaign. As a result of seeing these findings I will now check whether we are making that clear enough in the campaign material.All-in-all the survey raises a number of important issues and I will make sure it is seen by the relevant council officers.As Council Leader and local community activist myself, I know that we need more people to take an interest in, and play an active part in their community. The work that you do with young people is so important, getting them involved early and making them realise that their action can make a difference to where they live - that can only be good for our Borough and the young people themselves.I know this is only the latest of many successful projects, and I would be really pleased if you would pass on my congratulations to the young people involved, and as always, my thanks to you and your team for the great work that you do.

Redcar & Cleveland Council

Joyce Thacker.

In August, IYC ran an excellent weeklong programme in one of our secondary schools, Clifton Comprehensive. Clifton is in a challenging area of the borough and IYC worked closely with our Extended Services Team, the school itself and its feeder primaries to deliver a superb programme for nearly 100 young people.

All week the dance, singing, media and filming workshops were excellent, culminating in a pre-match entertainment show on August Bank holiday at Sheffield United's match against Preston North End. All students were presented with a DVD of the whole project along with a personnel Certificate of Achievement at an awards evening at Clifton School in October. This was a superb occasion, packed with pupils who were involved in the IYC weeklong event and their parents/carers.

The pupils had a fabulous time, their evaluations were superb of the programme and Clifton Learning Community is seeking ways to run a similar programme in the future as it was such a success.  I commend IYC to anyone who are interested in commissioning you and I would be happy for them contact me if they wished to discuss this testimonial further.

Strategic Director, CYPS, Rotherham.

Clifton Learning Community, Rotherham.

Following the enormous success of the Imagine You Can summer programme, I should just like to thank you and your team for making such a positive difference to the lives of the young people involved. Throughout the applications, the week of workshops, the rehearsals, the two performances (one as part of Sheffield United's pre-match entertainment in their game against Preston North End and the other for parents and friends at Clifton School), the efficiency and the professional approach of the Imagine You Can team ensured that this project met the needs of all the young people involved and provided them with an experience that will remain with them for a very long time.

We deeply appreciate all the hard work that was put in to tailor the project to the needs of the young people and families involved; all those "extras" that were added in to make the experience even more fantastic, such as setting up interviews with Howard Webb and other local and national celebrities, adding in extra rehearsal time and meeting demand for an additional performance, did not go un-noticed!

The young people involved in this project come from across the Clifton Learning Community and from all walks of life, some of whom are working closely with a variety of agencies. The Clifton area has some of the highest levels of socio-economic deprivation in Rotherham and some of the young people and families involved face real challenges in their day-to-day lives. The Imagine You Can project enabled all the young people to feel inspired and develop aspirations some may not previously have dreamed of having.

Our evaluations and case studies show a direct correlation between engagement with the Imagine You Can project and raised self-esteem, and this is borne out most strongly by the testimonies filmed by the young people involved in the Media and Filming part of the project. The following words from one young person's evaluation sum it all up: "I never imagined I could do something like this but now I know I can, and I know that I need to work really hard to get somewhere in life, that's what this project has given me, the push to make something of myself and believe I will succeed."

Please pass on my thanks to all your team and I wish you every success with your future projects and look forward to working with you all again in the very near future.

Kate Bujor, Schools Partnership Officer.

Dartford Schools, Kent.

I have had the pleasure of working with Imagine You Can on two occasions.  The first project was in April. The company ran workshops for a week offering young people the opportunity to dance, sing, and discover the joys of working in the media and to learn all about the complexities of filming. Throughout the whole project the Imagine You Can team were wonderful.  

This first project ended with a performance at the Charlton Athletic v Norwich City match, a wonderful arena for the young people to perform in. I had the opportunity to watch the young people develop during the week. One young singer started the week very nervous and stood apart from the rest of the group I was not sure she would turn up for the second day let alone appear in front of thousands of people. But as the days progressed so did she. By the time of the performance, she sang solo in front of the football fans in such a confident manner that would not have seemed possible a week earlier.

A further example of the confidence that this project gives young people can be seen in a young girl - year 7 who was talking to the BBC asking them to come and view the project. She spoke in a very confident manner and had Gordon Brown not been in the area they would have visited this project.

Following the success of the first project I commissioned Imagine You Can to deliver a further project in October. This project was very similar but did not have the performance at Charlton but a music and news "Through the decades" show was put on in a school for all family and friends to see. I was delighted to see that many of the 'stars' of the first project returned plus some new faces.

Again, the young people produced a stunning performance on the night. The positive aspect of this new format was for the marketing and media team. They spent the week writing, filming, editing and performing clips to be shown on the night. This change ensured their skills and hard work was recognised along with the dancers and singers.

I again had the opportunity to see young people develop their skills and confidence one example was that of a young male singer who was so nervous he nearly did not audition. At the performance he sang the final song something that would not have seen possible on Monday morning.

Trudy Donachie, Extended Services.

Clifton Community Arts School.

On behalf of Clifton: A Community Arts School, I would like to thank Imagine You Can for-the sensational work undertaken during the summer-holidays. The students are still so proud of their achievements. The week's summer school was challenging, fun and brought the students a valuable insight into performance and media.

Quotes from the students include: "I really loved the fact I felt confident to organise groups of my peers" Leanne

(Using the technical equipment was scary at first but 'Imagine You Can' made me
feel like a professional" Jordan

At Bramall Lane, the students had a real 'buzz' from performing in front of such a large crowd. They valued the fact that they had to be professional and all stated that their exam performance work has improved.

The celebration event was slick and sensational. Our Headteacher, The Director of Children's Services, the governors and parents were overwhelmed by the standard of performance. Personally, I feel, for students in any type of school, the life skills acquired during the programme will equip them for the world of work.

Thank you to all at Imagine You Can.

Liz Keay, Leader Lifelong Learning.

Yeovil Town Football Club.

Yeovil Federation is a partnership of 21 schools and the College in Yeovil with a commitment to young people in the town and surrounding villages. We work together to raise standards in schools, find new ways of improving learning and teaching, and promote good behaviour for learning practice. We also provide opportunities for young people to come together to learn new skills and to make a contribution to improving the community,

50 young people who had an aptitude for music and dance came together and worked hard in their week of workshops. They then gave the performance of a lifetime as the pre-match entertainment at the Yeovil Town v Carlisle United match in March. The youngsters gained in confidence and maturity and on the day displayed their talents with composure and excitement.

In their evaluations their comments included the following; "I was very excited and proud to be involved", "Thank you for giving me the chance and opening my eyes to other ways that I might be able to dance when I am older", "I will never forget this experience and would love to do it again", "It was the best thing I have ever done" "It was fab - amazing"

This was our first experience of working with Imagine You Can. The whole project was a great success, and we shall certainly be considering extending the project in the future. It encouraged youngsters from 9 Federation primary and secondary schools to work together which can only be an advantage with transition as they move through the educational phases. The response from the crowd at the match was magnificent and made the performers feel so special.

Gaynor Gibson, Yeovil Schools Developmment Director.

Super League Grand Final.

Congratulations! Fantastic! Stunning! Inspiring!

Not my words but just a few of the comments passed on to me by some of our guests after the pre-match show at Old Trafford last Saturday night.

I just wanted to drop you a short note to echo these thoughts and pass on my words of congratulation. Yet again you have proven your ability to work with us in taking an idea and making it happen on time and within budget.

In particular the players walk out on to the pitch - described to me later as the best moment of their sporting careers - was nothing short of awe inspiring. The ballet dancers and Opera singer adding a new dimension to the successful use of the 1812 Overture from last year.

Please pass on my congratulations and thanks to all of your team involved at Old Trafford on the day. Roll on next year!

Ian Robson, Director of Marketing.

Jeremy Gartland

We have worked with Dave King and the team from Imagine You Can over the past three years to promote the fantastic work carried out by the young people who are participating in the projects. This includes inviting young people from the programme to come into the radio station for interviews, and also in our station magazine. We are constantly impressed by the passionate and inspirational leadership of Dave and his team, who without doubt go above and beyond to ensure that each and every young person who participates in the projects has an engaging, enjoyable and memorable experience. The enthusiasm shown by the young people who come into Zetland FM from the projects is infectious - when they visit our studios to promote the community action projects on-air they are articulate and confident, despite many never having broadcast on the radio before. There is a genuine feeling that the youngsters are aiming high and embracing new challenges. It has also been a pleasure for Zetland FM to be invited to take part in the graduation ceremonies, and to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the youngsters. Dave and the Imagine You Can team do an amazing job and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.

Zetland FM Chairman & Station Manager

Cllr, Alec Brown.

My name is Cllr Alec Brown and I would like to take the time to acknowledge the fantastic results that Imagine You Can are achieving in both my ward and across the borough of Redcar & Cleveland. Last year Dormanstown JFC and I where fortuitous to have Imagine You Can agree to a meeting at the junior football club. The young people made a decision from a number of potential social action projects that they would help Dormanstown JFC to the delight of all the kids at the club, the volunteers, the committee and me. The positivity the social action project created around the club was staggering, with the community turning up in force to celebrate the achievements at the clubhouse, on a fun day also arranged by the young people of Imagine You Can. It is my pleasure to be working with Imagine You Can again as they are highlighting the environmental enhancements achieved by local community group, The Friends of Redcar. The positivity and motivation the young people inject into the borough of Redcar & Cleveland cannot be underestimated and long may it continue. It is with great anticipation that I foresee working with Imagine You Can for many years to come for the enhancement of the borough and my ward of Dormanstown.

Redcar Councillor

Ian Thorpe

I have been working in Outdoor Education for 25 years, at Centres throughout this country and more recently as the Director of a not-for-profit organisation - Peat Rigg. We are very used to a broad range of clients and prior to working with Imagine You Can we have worked with other providers: we know what works and what doesn't. From our very first contact with Dave King it was apparent that he was keen to deliver a worthwhile, imaginative programme that was designed to engage the young people who attended and meet the aims and objectives of the projects. We had several meetings to discuss and plan how our element (the 5 day residential section) would integrate within his overall programme and deliver the required outcomes. Key to the successful delivery of any programme is a strong and effective relationship between the residential provider and the delivery partner; we jointly designed and delivered staff training workshops to ensure that all of the staff - Peat Rigg and IYC - not only knew what needed to be achieved, but also the most effective methods of working with the students. We found all of the IYC staff had been well selected and trained to deliver the programme. They had made effective interventions with the participants prior to the start of the course to ensure good turn up rates and successful completion of the whole programme. IYC staff had the flexibility and resources to cope with the inevitable occasional difficulty that can occur on a residential. Combining media based expertise with a good, outcomes based, residential experience was a powerful learning opportunity for all the young people who attended. All the feedback that we received from the students, the staff and other organisations that visited us during the IYC courses were very impressed by the delivery and the success of the programme.

Peat Rigg Outdoor Centre

Roseberry Community Consortium

Roseberry Community Consortium worked in partnership with Imagine You Can to develop and build a plot to plate project. The Plot to Plate project was to bring to life a derelict allotment site in Middlesbrough to develop it into a growing area for the local community. 52 volunteers from the organisation worked on the site during August 2015 for a week. The Imagine You Can procet is an excellent scheme; encouraging young people aged 15 to 17 to engage in community projects. The plot to plate project needed a new lease of life. Imagine You Can transformed the derelict site into a vibrant and community garden. A fantastic job has been done. Lots of passion and love have been clearly shown in the project. Roseberry Community Consortium applaud the hard work and efforts of the volunteers. The momentum of the project is growing thanks to their tremendous work.

Ian Swales

As an MP I strongly supported the government's introduction of the National Citizen Service. My high expectations were exceeded when I saw the work done in our local area by Imagine You Can (IYC). I was a frequent visitor to their activities, observing, speaking to the young people, coaching them in media activities, helping with a Ministerial visit and attending presentation evenings. To see the transformation achieved in a few short weeks was truly inspiring. I remember asking one young attendee what their parents thought. "Where's my child gone" was the response. It is needed in our area more than most. Developing our young people into confident young adults able to successfully access community leadership and employment opportunities is vital for the future. I can't imagine any organisation achieving this better than IYC and I'm not surprised their work is nationally recognised. I hope they can continue with the contract for as long as they are able. I am happy to speak further on this.

Nepic

Ruth Hebden

Part of my role is to engage the community to support and work in partnership with the home, the residents, volunteers and staff. We have been very fortunate to have been involved in several Imagine You Can Social Action projects. Not only have each of the projects been exceptionally successful in engaging and including the disabled residents, staff and volunteers, they have also been very well facilitated and supported by the leaders and by Dave King.

From their initial enquiry through to the final project they are outstanding in their commitment, enthusiasm and delivery of the social action projects. The ingenuity and enterprise in designing varied and unique projects resulted in the local community demonstrating huge amounts of support and encouragement. The projects are very well put together with the perfect level of support and guidance given to the young participants. The support allows personal challenges and development in a safe and stimulating environment. On numerous occasions I have been impressed with the skills and attributes that the programmes, and the facilitators, are able to draw out of the young people. From my perspective the whole process is seamlessly put together, including us in all aspects and keeping us very well informed of what is happening throughout. It has been a pleasure to work alongside the Imagine You Can team and I would not hesitate in recommending them for any future projects.

Marske Hall, Residential Valorum Care Home.

Lawrence McAnelly

As you are aware The Junction a local based charity working to make a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families in Redcar and Cleveland and the South Tees area has received excellent support for the Imagine you Can programme and I very much look forward as we continue to work and indeed further develop our partnership. The Junction has directly benefited from a several Social Action projects including Family Fun day events, raising funds for The Junction, decorating our kitchen and young people's areas at our base in Redcar, Making two excellent high quality films to raise awareness of young carers and of the work of The Junction. In addition through working with the young people on several cohorts we have been able to raise awareness of the work we do, reaching more and increased numbers of young people. We have held discussions on mental health and young carers, in particular, hosted visitors to The Junction and I have personally taken great pleasure and pride from being present and presenting at the graduation events. Not to mention coverage in the excellent IYC Times newspapers that reaches many, many households in the area. All in all our relationship with IYC has been and continues to be nothing but positive. But it goes further; I have met a number of people in various networks who have some understanding of The Junction and what it does because their children have been involved with a project, so in terms of building The Junctions profile your work also helps indirectly. I am looking forward to continuing to work with IYC and in particular to encouraging and supporting some of the children and young people we work with to access the Imagine You Can offer in the forthcoming years.

The Junction, Young Carers.

Cllr. Cliff Foggo

Imagine You Can has been operating in the Tees Valley Region for a number of years and has provided excellent training to a large number of students in Media Studies, Business and working in the community. One of the many activities they run is a Media Course where the students learn about different aspects of media presentation ranging from newspaper reporting to TV interviewing. I was involved with this aspect during the elections in 2015 when Ian Duncan- Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, visited the area and agreed to an interview session with the students along with Will Goodhand the candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. The interview was set up in a studio environment ran by 10 students to ask questions, which was being filmed for critique afterwards and to train them on editing. The students had obviously researched the subject matter and provided varied and penetrating questions to the interviewees in a professional and confident manner. Afterwards Ian Duncan-Smith said that he was immensely impressed by the student’s professional approach and the clarity and content of their questions and that he had faced less arduous questioning from professional interviewers. I am also an instructor with the local Air Cadet Sqn and a number of our cadets have participated in the courses provided by Imagine You Can. The feedback I have received is that the media and business courses had helped improve their confidence, ability to speak in public and had given them an insight into their chosen future profession. Even those that were not wanting to enter the media environment had gained valuable experience improved their communication skills. I feel that this aspect of the Training is extremely valuable both to the students and to the community.

Redcar Councillor.

Tony Galuidi

Just over a year ago Earthbeat, an organisation which provides drama training and performance opportunities for learning disabled adults, moved into its new home – the Earthbeat centre. Before we were able to move into our new home we had a lot of work to do because the building we had acquired, which was an abandoned Victorian school, was in a semi derelict state. We had set ourselves the almost impossible task of converting and renovating the building in just six months. But guess what – we did it. The truth is, we would not have achieved our mini miracle without the help of a great many helpers. Word soon spread about our venture and we were contacted by Dave King, from Imagine You Can in our area. He invited me to talk to the students so that I could ask them if they could help in some way. I gave a short presentation to the students and I was blown away by their enthusiasm and willingness to help. They liked the project and agreed to get involved.

Earthbeat Centre.

Cllr. Carl Quartermain

I would like to express my gratitude to you for the great work you are doing with the youth in our Borough. It is so very important that our children understand the benefit of community work on all stages. I have always felt that our schools should have a stand curriculum that includes weekly community work. Whether that is with the elderly and social care or with community groups that deliver art, culture, environmental and horticultural work, all these projects are important at creating pride within our home. That is as valuable as any academic subject and to my mind will also reduce crime and Anti Social Behaviour as well as improve the aesthetic and appearance of the areas we live in. Thank you to ImagineYouCan, the students and of course yourself for the effort and organisation and for making us feel so welcomed. Please keep up the great work and continue being diverse in your delivery of projects.

The Friends of Redcar

Cllr. Billy Wells

This is a letter of thanks and appreciation to Dave King and the team from Dormanstown Community Sports and Recreation Group. We have struggled to gain recognition in the area for ages but all this has changed since being introduced to Dave.The input from them has gained us lots of publicity but most importantly they have assisted us in renovating our Clubhouse and filming and editing a promotional DVD. We have taken this DVD to the local authority in Redcar along with newspaper clippings from the project. This has resulted in the Local authority giving us an asset transfer on land with a 50 year lease. This now enables us to pursue other projects and more activities. At present we have 5 football teams, a homework club and a youth club; with this extra land we are considering a new club house, running track and other activities. Also due to the publicity it has raised our profile in the area and we are getting more people attending and volunteering to help. None of this would have been possible without the input of Dave and his team. On a personal note I am very impressed with the professional approach given to the projects and the enthusiasm of all involved. The standards achieved are first class and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the volunteers and the staff which is a credit to their tutors. They all work together as a team and the outcome is always impressive.

Dormanstown Sports & Recreation Centre.

Cllr. Josh Mason

It has been my pleasure to work with young people from Imagine You Can in Redcar and Cleveland on several occasions over the last few years; encouraging them to engage with the local authority and their youth service provision and talking about young people in politics. The innovative approach of Imagine You Can to the programme gives participants valuable insights and experience in business, media and local politics. In the current climate locally, it’s more important than ever that young people have wide-ranging experiences which help to grow their aspiration and diversify their skills. The Imagine You Can projects in Redcar and Cleveland has already supported and encouraged hundreds of the area’s young people to engage with their communities, local businesses and politicians proactively, providing them with a stake in their area and the skills they need to build exciting lives for themselves. Long may it continue!

Redcar Council.

Lynne & Steve Nicholls

As a local newspaper in the Redcar & Cleveland area, our communities and the people in them are very important to us. We have the highest rate of unemployment in the country for our young people and that must truly have a devastating impact on them, on their lives and on their futures. Having seen first hand what a great difference the Imagine You Can has made locally on individuals, increasing our young people's confidence and outlook on life and watching them go on to greater things, we would have no hesitation in continuing to 'sing your praises' in the newspaper. The dedication of Dave King and his staff truly help our young people grow to achieve their full potential. We have also seen how the local community groups have benefitted from your social action projects, raising money and awareness and how the young people on your projects have made this happen. The publication of your very own newspaper which is included within Coastal View & Moor News and written entirely by the students, are a true testament to the work that you are doing, with individual stories by the young people of their experiences whilst on the project. Their newspaper has received many positive comments from amongst our 65,000 readers! We will continue to support you in the great work you do.

Coastal View & Moor News

Lee Holmes, MBE.

I would like to say how refreshing it is to see so many young people gathered in one place who got along, worked hard, encouraged one another and showed so much enthusiasm. The set up in your IYC space at Inglebourough Hall was a great example of what it's is all about. The banners and information all around the room reminded everyone of their roles and responsibilities. Your staff were clearly focused on the job in hand and everyone should be proud of the way IYC works with young people. The future is certainly bright with the young people of IYC becoming excellent role models of the future.

Leeds Beckett University

Mr & Mrs Paul Blewitt

As Jonathan's parents we have seen a huge boost in his self confidence since he got involved with Imagine You Can. He thoroughly enjoyed his time away with everyone at the Peat Rigg residential, especially with his good friends Joe and Laura. He has made new lifelong friends not only with the other students but also with the project staff. Jonathan gained a great insight into what it takes to script, produce and present a short film about the volunteers at Guisborough Town FC, and as a player himself he thought the night was fantastic. During the making of the Young Carers at The Junction film, Jonathan said he never realised there was such a thing as Young Carers who have such a hard life and don't let on to others. This really opened not only his eyes but I think the eyes of all the other parents at the graduation night All in all the whole experience has been one of the most positive things he has achieved to date, and we hope it will continue to inspire and transform the lives of young people for many years to come.

Mrs Carol Palin

"Proud" would be my utmost feeling of the Imagine You Can Graduation Event, proud of my daughter for taking part in the Spring Programme and proud of all the other young adults including my daughter representing their age group in such a positive light, as valuable and very much needed members of our society. The whole programme including the graduation was presented and delivered in a professional and polished manner. I would recommend this to any young person as my daughter has gained so much knowledge, confidence and experience from the programme and its initiative.

Mrs Jane Raif

The Imagine You Can graduation ceremony was a great event. It was extremely well organised and very enjoyable. I attended with my daughter who took part in the autumn project and it was lovely to see all the activities that she had taken part in during the away residential. I was also very impressed by the video footage shown during the presentation. The students had been involved in several projects which included the making of a short film about the volunteers at Guisborough Town FC which was both professional and inspiring. They had also created an eye opening video about Young Carers in the region called “I am (a young carer)” which was very cleverly executed and was a great tribute to both the young carers themselves and The Junction that support them. It was indeed an inspiring and heart warming evening and I’m very pleased that my daughter had the opportunity to take part and in the program.

Gary Tregonning

Please take this letter as a testimonial to the voluntary work carried out by staff and volunteers from Imagine you Can run by Mr D King in East Cleveland. In 2014 we had a group of volunteers and staff attend our property. The volunteers cleared an area of undergrowth, which was subsequently turned into a garden. The work was carried out to a very high standard and all of the staff and volunteers behaved in a professional manner. I would highly commend and recommend the team.

Guisborough Sea Cadets

Mrs Julie Stonehouse

I attended the Autumn/Spring graduation event at Macmillan Academy on Friday 28th March 2014 with Joe’s Dad and his Grandparents. The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, and very well organised. As a parent, I experienced a whole host of emotions watching my son participate in presenting the evening with his friends and hearing about the work that they had been doing in the preceding 4 weeks. The overwhelming feeling was pride, not just in my son for standing up there speaking with confidence and assurance, but pride in all of the young people who graduated on the evening and the amazing work they had achieved with the support of the Imagine You Can project. We certainly have a talented bunch of kids in the north east! I was astounded by the quality of the presentations; the films that they produced were outstanding and they all had a powerful impact. I am sure they will be effective in helping to raise the profiles of such fabulous community projects. It was fabulous to hear the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the commitment to keep this worthwhile service going; to know that there are other opportunities to keep involved with community projects both at home and further afield, and that not all teenagers are thoughtless and selfish as many would have us believe.