YMCA Case study

Mitch was previously involved in the Working Assets Programme and describes his journey below.

Beginning my YMCA Journey

Hello, my name is Mitch and I spent 25 weeks on the Working Assets Programme at Toyota UK.

I arrived at the YMCA in a very depressed state and spent the first 3 weeks alone in my room. Gradually, with the help of staff at YMCA Derbyshire, I started meeting people and doing activities. I volunteered in the kitchens and started playing football for the YMCA Derbyshire team. They even made me captain!

I then got involved in Derby County Football Club’s Achieve FC Sports Leadership Programme and a similar Homeless FA Programme, where we got the chance to meet Prince William at the headquarters of the English Football Association in Burton.

Meeting My Toyota Family

It was during this time that David Finn from the YMCA Derbyshire approached me and said he thought the Toyota Programme would really suit me. I didn’t know anything about it, but we had a couple of information meetings and the Toyota staff came to meet us at the Campus. They seemed very friendly and they came on a residential with the group at Edale in the Peak District.

The group of 10 YMCA Derbyshire residents all looked forward to starting the programme.   We were not disappointed.  The Working Assets Programme was brilliant and the staff at Toyota were very supportive.

On my Toyota Journey

All of us who graduated may have had tough moments on the programme. We all, at times, felt we couldn’t meet some of the challenges presented to us. But the support we received from the Toyota and YMCA Derbyshire staff gave us the confidencene to complete the programme. We all learnt so much about the Toyota company, culture, how you need to conduct yourself at work and what it takes to work on the assembly line.

During the programme, we improved our skills in:-

  • Maths, English and Employability
  • Planning and organising
  • How to manage change
  • Producing a CV

Most importantly, we all had over 120 hours of work experience in various parts of the Toyota site.  I completed mine at Green Metals, Toyota’s recycling contractors.  It was brilliant.  They were a great team and they taught me so much about recycling and gave me a wide range of experience, all of which I was able to put on my CV.

My friends on the programme had similar positive experiences in catering, security, IT and maintenance.

Reaching my Destination

We all improved our self confidence; I am not the same person who walked into the YMCA on that day.

I subsequently got some really positive news. Having attended an interview at Green Metals, following my work placement, I am pleased to say that I started a full-time job with them. This could not have happened without this programme so, on behalf of every young person who has taken part in the Working Assets Programme, a very big thank you to everyone here for giving us this brilliant opportunity.