New Horizons - Thanks to our supporters

08 July 2015

What is the project?

New Horizons will recruit, prepare, train and develop each year for three years 15 vulnerable and/or disadvantaged 15-21 year olds in readiness for a life-changing personal development and social action trip abroad – in October this year, we will travel to Colombia for three weeks to work on a coffee farm, dairy and in a school.

  • New Horizons was funded by a grant from Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust (CFCT). Medway Youth Trust are a Hardship Fund Referral Partner to CFCT which has in the last 2 years, generated over £20,000 in individual grants to those in greatest need in Medway.
  • Participants are doing this project in their spare time, as most either work or are at school or in training.
  • The project involves two-weekly workshop to catch up and plan the next weeks. They will be running events and seeking business support over the summer. 
  • They will have a 3-day UK residential in July as a ‘practice run’ for Colombia.
  • Young adults will be led by Sheila Heffernan (Project Co-ordinator), with the support of in-house Fundraising officer Laura Pike, Partnership Broker Norma Rice. 
  • The international element of the project is being organised by International Youth Culture Exchange (ICYE) in London – this is their first experience of planning an international volunteering trip for a group. They usually only work with individuals, but are very excited about this. 
  • It is also a first for Medway. Trips abroad have taken place, but never on this scale of fundraising, or for this number of vulnerable young people working together. 
  • At the end of each year, the young adults will be responsible for disseminating the lessons they have learned throughout their time on the project to supporters and their peers.


Who are the ‘Young Adults’?

  • We are recruiting from the Medway Towns.
  • Our young people come from difficult backgrounds in most cases – teenage parent, In-Care, Living independently in supported housing, estranged from parents, low income families, living in the most deprived wards in Medway, at risk of offending. 
  • Young people who just want to break the cycle of deprivation they have grown up with.
  • All of the group have proven to be an inspiration already at this early stage – e.g. Dragon Boat Race Challenge last Sunday at Mote Park saw two young people who were terrified of going on the water overcome their fears and row in the race. Two very quiet and shy young adults were, by the end of the day, circulating through the crowds selling raffle tickets. This in itself has boosted the moral of the individuals and increased their motivation as a team to make this happen. 

What difference will it make?

  • The young people will return with a greater perspective on their own barriers
  • They will be able to self-reflect and re-evaluate their own lives and their goals. 
  • They will then play a significant role in the recruitment of the next cohort.
  • They will be responsible for spreading the lessons they have learnt with other young people and the wider community, employers and schools.


Support already saught:

Thank you to supporters: The Entertainer Toy Shop, Nandos, Crops and Bobbers Hair and Beauty, Creams Café, Just Soe UK Style Academy, Plush Hair and Beauty, the Hair Lounge, Kent Beauty School, Diggerland, Rochester Coffee Co, Pizza Express, Kikiland, Leeds Castle, Merry Go Round.


How can you support us:

Click this link to donate or if you are a business that can help in another way, then please contact Laura Pike (


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