Skills2Achieve (S2A) is a Hampshire-based employment and skills programme run by Enham Trust, aimed at helping young people aged 16-19 years old who are not in employment, education or training, kickstart their career.

On Thursday 30th September, students and staff from S2A Portsmouth took a trip to Wymering Manor to get involved in a renovation project and learn about its local history. This visit was the first in an exciting collaboration between S2A Portsmouth and Wymering Manor Trust, where students will have the opportunity to take part in a 6-week project, the aim of which will be to develop those all-important life and employability skills, in addition to building confidence and self-esteem, and playing an active part in their community. 

Recorded in the Doomsday Book, Wymering Manor is a beautiful and intriguing site with a rich history. It is the oldest building in Portsmouth and, according to LiveAbout, Britain’s most haunted!

There is a team of dedicated volunteers who now look after the Manor. S2A Portsmouth met some of the team and assisted them with gardening and site maintenance. 

The first order of the day began with clearing some of the garden, ready for mulching. With shovels, forks and lots of laughs, the S2A team got stuck in and made a notable dent in clearing some land. 

A short stop for lunch, with tea, toast and cake provided by the marvellous Annmarie and Roz at the Manor, gave everyone the chance to relax, chat and get to know each other. Then there was more gardening, followed by a tour of the site. 

From attic to basement, Annmarie talked the team through the history and hauntings of the Manor. Not only did everyone really enjoy themselves, but this provided an excellent opportunity for learners to engage in conversation, with some gaining enough evidence to pass one of their Functional Skills English speaking and listening assessments. 

"It’s all team building: you get scared together, you laugh together, you talk more to each other"

In the final wrap-up, Annmarie told the students: "walking around like that, it’s all team building: you get scared together, you laugh together, you talk more to each other… I’m really proud of it; I know how hard it is! Don’t take away from today that ‘oh I just walked round a house and did some gardening’. Take away the fact you worked together as a team. You’ve been forward with someone you don’t know, and asked questions, you’ve come out of your shell a bit, and in a situation that could be quite daunting. YOU’VE done that and you need to take that on board as well."

An enormous thank you to the Wymering Manor team for providing such a warm welcome and an incredible opportunity for learning and enjoyment. ‘Team S2A Portsmouth’ look forward to returning! 

Are you 16-19 years old and not in employment, education or training? Get in contact with our S2A team today to see how our programme could help you gain the qualifications and skills needed to kickstart your future. 


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