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Monthly Archives: January 2015

This is an article which was originally published in The Cardiff Times November edition

SNAP Cymru is a charity which aims to empower families and young people in Wales who face discrimination or exclusion due to learning needs, poverty, deprivation, disability or language by providing accurate information, objective advice and support. This can relate to a wide range of issues including assessments, statements of special education needs, bullying, school attendance, exclusion, health and social care provision and discrimination. Other services they provide include advocacy (through their independent service; About Me), disagreement resolution and training for young people, parents and professionals.

Wmff is a new online platform where young people can seek advice and support, including videos of personal stories where young people tell about their past difficulties, but most importantly how they overcame them. These stories involve experience of bullying in education, work or being out of work, education or training. Information on your legal rights under the 1989 UN Convention on The Rights of The Child is also set out. As such these stories were quite inspiring to myself. SNAP Cymru hope to develop the website’s forum in the future but through an exclusive app assistance is currently available on call whenever a young person needs their support. The website also has several useful links to other informative websites.

My time with the organisation has been very positive and supportive so far. The level of responsibilities I have been given shows a confidence in my abilities. This is despite my own problems with speech, which continue to be a personal barrier to many employment opportunities. This also speaks volumes about their approach and values toward young people with special needs and how they empower them through these. Through this opportunity I can find my voice; here my problems don’t prevent me from fulfilling my potential. They recognize the skills I do have, rather than the ones I have yet to further develop. Using both this experience and the confidence I have gained from undertaking a recent careers course, the GoWales Graduate Academy, I know that I have the ability to achieve much more in the future.

The most positive and indeed, greatest mutual impact of this is I have invaluable and real work experience in a working environment (something I know employers are looking for within a competitive jobs market) while helping the organisation achieve its aims and objectives.

 

Maxwell-Dean

This review is a first for several reasons, my first music review and a review of my first live performance I can recall which had a lasting emotional impact on me.

First of all, I should also thank Jessie for inviting me. In the past my social anxiety might have prevented me from coming but I both gained confidence from coming to see her play and I believe it reflected the progress I have made.

Jessie and Luke first met during their time at college studying music during their A-levels when asked to perform a duet together and they haven’t looked back since. They have since performed at a festival alongside Katy Perry.

Genuine, authentic, emotional, atmospheric, unique, memorable, personal, compelling and relatable are all words I would use to describe their performance and music. Simply, they are the type of songs that stick in your head, but in a good way. Their performance evokes a distinctive and entrancing mood, a powerful mix of folk and rock influences, combining talented vocal and lyrical skills with the effect of musicians such as Fleetwood Mac, Adele or Tom Petty. In the end, it was a fantastic night I will not forget in a long time, ending with an exceptional cover of Rhianon. Her warm and engaging personality is reflected in her music and its lyrics, which achieve both a reflective but uplifting quality.

What is immediately clear is that individually and as a duet both Jessie and Luke have more than enough talent, quality drive and passion to match that ambition. ­Their next performance in Cardiff will be on the 10th January during the Free For All Festival at the Moon Club so make you don’t miss it – a perfect accompaniment to your Christmas and New Year celebrations. I hadn’t seen many live performances before myself but after this experience it is something I know I need to do so much more.