Posted on 05 April 2016
Sittingbourne teenager is hoping to boost employment within the borough after setting up social enterprise for Swale young people.
Last Friday, more than 70 guests joined CEO Patrick Cantellow at Kent Science Park to celebrate the launch.
Aged just 16, Patrick Cantellow, founded Swale Young People CIC after being spurred on by lack of activities in the area for teenagers.
He said: “Young people have always been forced to travel to Canterbury or Maidstone if they wanted to do something because there is nothing to do in Swale".
He continued: “I did a National Citizens Service last year which involved carrying out social actions that benefit the community. Looking at Medway Youth Trust, who ran the scheme, you start to ask what has Sittingbourne got in place for young people?”
Patrick also made an exclusive announcement concerning The Mill Project. Swale Young People have made an official expression of interest in operating the Sittingbourne Skate Park and Patrick feels very passionately about seeing the project though.
The teenager aims to help people aged 11-19 by improving their employability and promoting community engagement.
During the launch, Patrick highlighted his plans for the next five years, where he hopes to set up a Young Ambassador Network to run alongside the nationwide Young Enterprise Network and Ideas Test to encourage teenagers to be involved with setting up businesses.
He said: “It’s about getting young people out helping their community and providing access to volunteering opportunities.
“We want to change Swale for the better through our many initiatives that will not only improve the town as a whole but also improve employability prospects for young people in Swale".
Guests at the launch included Mayor of Swale Cllr Anita Walker, Sarah Williams from Swale CVS, Cllr Mike Baldock (UKIP), John Pratty from Ideas Test and PCSOs representing Kent Police.
Babs Knott, Site Administrator at Kent Science Park, commented on the event. She said: “We are extremely happy to be involved with the Swale Young People CIC. Recently, the Children’s Wellbeing Index found that the quality of childhood in Swale isn’t quite what it should be so we are very keen to see this resolved".
She continued: “Patrick is an inspirational young man and we are lucky to have him campaigning for the young people here in Swale. It’s an exciting movement and Kent Science Park are committed to investing in the future of our town”.
Young Ambassador Membership is free for young people aged 11 – 19 and live or attend education in Swale.