Gucu enjoys developing ideas on a number of levels. Working with young people is never dull and ideas get thrown around and quickly become innovative on a number of levels.
In the past we have been involved in a number of creative projects. Possibly the most exciting example of this is the veg box scheme. Three young people came up with the scheme to help them find employment. It was developed on several levels. Growing our own veg, creating relationships with other veg growers and sourcing reliable, quality all year round suppliers. The young people learned how to order, get customers and invoicing/stock control. It was very successful in that all the young people found jobs and are still employed. One works as a chef for Asquith’s – a MICHELIN Guide restaurant.
Using innovative, radical and creative approaches in working with young people
With over 25 years of working with young people Richard has always encouraged young people to think out of the box and develop creative ideas and approaches to problem solving. This continues through Gucu.
It is always good to be sustainable and as part of that sustainability Gucu offers hosting and website development. Along with computer repair, network development and advise this side of the business is very exciting for young people to be involved in. We have trained a number of young people in a variety of skills and currently one young person is studying computing at University.
We creating beautiful, contemporary websites that are Google friendly, mobile responsive and easy to use.
As resources run out we need to look at an alternative approach to traveling. Cycling is one possibility. It is not only ‘cheap’ but exercises you as well. In the past we have encouraged young people in a variety of ways to ‘get on their bike’. Our first project we building a smoothies bike. Cycle for five minutes and you were able to create smooth and creamy smoothies. Using fresh fruit produced a healthy alternative to other offerings. We have also built several four wheel pushbikes using a variety of materials including PVC piping and aluminium.
This year we aim to be even more creative with several initiatives. We aim to approach the four wheel bike initiative again and use our design to create mobile generators. Taking our existing design we will build a generator powered by cycling. The bike can be cycled around generating power or put on stands and remain static. The generator will power two elements at first, a smoothie machine and a bubble machine. Cycling around producing bubbles will be great fun!
The next stage to this innovation will be to build eight of the bikes around several different youth projects. The projects will then be brought together to cycle together and produce enough power to run a film show. This project will be exciting in producing unity amongst young people and also a fresh approach to earning money.
We have always had a unique approach to encouraging healthy eating. The ‘Rustler’ challenge brought about much hilarity and produced some new looking burgers. Rustler burgers are disgusting plastic wrapped burgers that you place in the microwave to heat up and eat. We took to the streets of the Clay district to challenge young people to eat healthily. We offered to buy young people a rustler burger of they didn’t like the ones we created together. We then taught young people how to make a burger from scratch including making the bread and the burger and a healthy salad. The biggest surprise from this exercise was when a young person asked us to return the following day. We didn’t normally do this but he was desperate so we returned. He then asked us to return one more time which we again did. Imagine my surprise when on Saturday morning I received a text from the young man’s mum thanking us for a lovely meal. It turned out that he wanted to cook for his family and the three days of teaching were preparing for this idea.
Taking this approach we have asked several youth projects about developing a community meal. We will work with the young people on developing an understanding of eating healthily and develop a menu of delicious healthy food. This will then be served to the community – probably parents but possibly to existing community groups.
We have also been working with a local insurance agent to develop the healthy motorbike tour. He has helped us by lending us a 1916 motorbike and paid to develop a two wheel front end. This bike will house a ‘stove and sink unit’ on the front of the bike and we will deliver healthy eating talks on the streets of the Clay area of Cornwall once again.
Radical, innovative approach to Youth Work
We are only limited by our imagination. Young people are multi talented and produce some amazing examples of creative thinking. This year we want to be a radical year for young people.
Based in Lostwithiel, Cornwall we enjoy helping young people create a new story.
Design, create, achieve.