How Blueprint 22 started…
Whilst working with a group of young people in 2010, we had a number of discussions about the cuts to youth provision locally. As most of the young adults in the group were over 19 years old, they felt that they were too old to access youth-based provision, but still wanted the opportunity to receive support, guidance and mentoring. They were never sure about where or who they could turn to and had a real dislike of being signposted from one organisation to another.
During these conversations, I encouraged them to talk about what their ideal would be and ‘how’ and importantly ‘if’ it could work practically. We explored whether there really was a ‘market’ of young adults who felt they were without direction. Could their skills be built on to enable to help them achieve independence? Their enthusiasm for change was quite infectious. It became our mission to create an organisation which would enable us to develop a truly youth-led service. Could they really take their ideas and turn them into something that could harness change?
In April 2011, Blueprint 22 was born, from a small seed of £2000 savings, we decided to create a youth organisation with a difference. The difference being, to do it 100% ‘their’ way. Together we agreed to embrace all the peaks and troughs that come with trying to develop something innovative and lasting. To not be scared to make mistakes and to learn and grow together. Blueprint 22 is a not-for-profit organisation or as the young adults call it ‘an alternative family’. With our core beliefs being firmly based in helping ourselves and each other. It remains fundamental to us to offer our person-centred approach and encourage each person to learn experientially.
Our journey so far has seen consistent growth, with 153 projects being delivered in 7 years, with an average of 283 different young adults per year taking part in Blueprint 22. Our ‘Blueprint Youth Board’ is made up of 4 young adults who are Trustee Directors and they ensure the service stays true to our original aims and are the central voice of the organisation.
Blueprint 22 future plans focus on our core mission by respond to need without red tape or restriction. We continue to be the voice of those who struggle to be heard and to offer a guide to those who chose to join us. We want to offer young adults opportunities to have meaningful and lasting progression in their lives.
As always, we continue to celebrate our uniqueness as individuals and as an organisation we strive to build a better future for ourselves and others.