Young Pendle guitarist receives teaching skills and confidence boost by volunteering
A 21-year-old musician from Nelson has started running free weekly guitar lessons at Pendle YES Hub, which in turn is also boosting his skills and confidence to help him find work.
Aaron Hipgrave-Lewis, who was referred to Pendle YES Hub by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), initially wanted a creative role that aligned with his artistic passion. However Aaron found there were limited options available and he did not have the required experience, which impacted his well-being.
At Pendle YES Hub, Aaron engaged in free activities run by Pendle YES Hub partners including creative connections sessions run by Burnley Youth Theatre and outdoor skills sessions with Move To Change CIC. By embracing these new experiences, Aaron demonstrated his resilience, adaptability and eagerness to learn.
In his quest for self-improvement, Aaron also sought additional wellbeing support from Lancashire Mind at their free weekly sessions within Pendle YES Hub.
Empowered by this newfound confidence, Aaron has taken a proactive role at Pendle YES Hub, giving back to the community by volunteering to run free weekly guitar sessions every Monday afternoon for young people aged 16 to 24. These sessions started in December 2023.
This initiative not only reflects Aaron's dedication to personal growth but also highlights the supportive environment fostered by the Hub and its innovative approach to help local young people develop, providing a space for the sessions to be run and helping promote these.
Aaron said, "Volunteering to teach guitar has been a fulfilling experience. It's not just about playing chords; it's about building connections, growing my skills and helping other people learn new skills too. I’ve enjoyed this and have since signed up for a free four-week online teaching assistant course through the DWP team based at the Hub, available through delivered by the training company Cidori.”
Dave Marshall, Pendle YES Hub Project Lead, expresses pride in Aaron's achievements, stating, "Aaron's journey is a testament to the positive impact of what we offer at Pendle YES Hub. His commitment to volunteering showcases his potential and eagerness to work and his guitar lessons have had a great reaction here, improving the skills and confidence of other young participants too.”
Pendle YES Hub is a project supported by over £420,000 of Government Levelling Up money through the Nelson Town Deal.
It is a one-stop-shop for Pendle’s young people, run by Active Lancashire and Positive Action in the Community on behalf of Pendle Council, alongside a range of local partners who provide free courses, social activities, mental health support and more.
Councillor Asjad Mahmood, Leader of Pendle Borough Council and Nelson Town Deal board member, said: “The Hub has provided Aaron with plenty of opportunities to help him towards employment, which he has fully embraced.
“Plus, he is helping others at the same time, passing on his experience, knowledge and confidence to other young people in a similar position to himself.”
Stephen Barnes, Chair of the Nelson Town Deal, added: “Getting young people into employment and training is a number one priority for Nelson Town Deal and our local economy.
“Aaron is proof that initiatives like Pendle YES Hub really do help young people to overcome barriers when offered the right support.”
The Hub is designed to build the confidence, health and wellbeing of people aged 16 and 24 and to boost their employability through skills training and work experience.
Pendle YES Hub is based at 39-41 Scotland Road, Nelson, BB9 7UT and is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 3.30pm.
To find out more about the guitar sessions and other weekly activities, visit activelancashire.org.uk/projects/pendleyeshub