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Sweden update: i2i customers return to UK and reflect on their international experiences

Date Posted:
17 Dec 2015
Unique volunteering experience in Lapland changes customers' goals and aspirations.

The story in full:

A group of i2i customers who have spent a fortnight in Sweden as part of an international volunteering project are now back in the UK and reflecting on their experiences.

The Work Programme customers from i2i's centres in Lancaster, Blackpool and Skelmersdale have taken part in a vocational and educational project organised by Everything is Possible.

The group have been volunteering with a carpentry business as part of the Erasmus+ programme, where the purpose of the visit is to raise confidence levels and give the volunteers vital work experience.

Now they are back in England, we caught up with the group to find out how they found the experience, and whether it has changed their goals for 2016.

Kelly said: “I've enjoyed learning new things and knowing that I can actually build things and use machinery, but my favourite moment was when we all saw the Northern Lights. My confidence has grown and I also believe that I have grown as a person, and I have found the path that I want to take in the future. My experiences have changed my aspirations because I have changed as a person and my aspirations have changed with me. And when I'm back in England I'm going to put them into action. My goals for 2016 are to continue to grow as a person and keep going down the path that I'm on. And also to find myself a job.”

Kirsty said: “I’ve enjoyed everything about the trip. I’ve loved learning new skills that I know I can use in life and it’s been great to work with people from a different country. I feel I’ve learnt a lot from living with people I didn’t know a few weeks ago. I’ve learnt how to get along with people and I think I’ve learnt how to deal with things better than I would have done back home. This experience has made me want to pursue what I want to do in life now, instead of just waiting for it to happen. In 2016, I want to continue learning new skills, make a goal and stick to it. For anyone else considering a project like this, I’d tell them that they would be completely insane not to do it. This is a once in a lifetime experience that should be grabbed with both hands.”

Kieran said: “The thing I’ve enjoyed most about the carpentry work is having to use my brain and think outside the box. I’ve come out of my shell a lot in Sweden and I’ve learned to socialise a bit better. So I’ve really enjoyed our group get togethers in the restaurant on a night. I really want to turn my life around now, get back in the gym and get a job. Before Sweden, I didn't really care or hope for anything in life. My goal for 2016 is to continue to better myself. This is the best thing I’ve ever done with my life.”

Some fantastic testimonials. We'll keep you posted with how the group progresses in 2016...

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