Feature: Results day is not the be all and end all

It’s the fortnight all GCSE and A-Level students are dreading.

One envelope through the post or handed to you at school holds the key to your future, doesn’t it?

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead personal advisors Eva Rodriguez with Kelly Arnold and Bex Perry

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead personal advisors Eva Rodriguez with Kelly Arnold and Bex Perry

Not exactly, say the team at Hemel Hempstead’s Youth Connexions base, hidden away within the XC Centre where it has been running for the last four years.

While exam reults are obviously important, the friendly, impartial team are there to help you realise that if things didn’t go exactly how you’d planned, there are still plenty of options available to you.

The service, provided by Herts County Council, offers an information centre with leaflets on all kinds of options and problems, as well as an IT zone which young people can use to write their CVs or applications forms, and search for jobs and courses.

Anyone from the ages of 13 to 19 is welcome to make use of the centre, and those with learning disabilities or difficulties can receive support there until the age of 25.

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-134742001

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-134742001

Advisors are always on hand to help, and will be out in force in schools across the borough on the morning of both results days – A-Levels are announced tomorrow, while GCSEs come out the following Thursday.

Later on those afternoons, they will be expecting a busy time in the XC Centre and so will have all hands on deck to speak to students about what to do next, both in person and on the phones.

Personal advisor Eva Rodriguez said: “We are completely impartial and confidential, and we support people with a wide range of issues.

“There are different areas to our teams – we work in schools and out in the community, providing guidance on post-16 and post-18 options, employment, apprenticeships and traineeships. We’re a one-stop shop.”

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-135119001

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-135119001

Kelly Arnold, also a Youth Connexions personal advisor, explained that some students may find themselves disappointed with the results they receive, while others will have done better than they thought and may wish to change the next steps they’d had set out in their minds.

She said: “If someone hadn’t done as well as they hoped, we would try to reassure them that no matter what their results are, there are options available for everyone.

“Even if it means they can’t do exactly what they planned on, there will be something else they can do which can get them to that stage.

“It might take a little longer, but they can get there.”

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-134911001

Youth Connexions Hemel Hempstead PNL-140708-134911001

With the range of services provided by Youth Connexions, it is clear that academia isn’t the only path open to students once they finish their studies.

The centre offers a media suite and music studios for use with National Citizenship Service courses, and of course, can point teens in the direction of work and apprenticeships if university isn’t the thing for them.

Kelly added: “Everyone is individual, there are so many options out there.

“Results day is just one day.

“Yes, results are important, but it isn’t the be all and end all – we can look at what’s out there for everyone and help them to get to wherever it is they want to be, whatever their grades are.”

Youth Connexions’ programmes are aimed at developing young people’s personal and social skills, and encouraging them to get involved in their communities.

Through the service, teens can also take part in youth parliament and councils, Duke of Edinburgh, volunteering, sports, drama and music.

It can also offer sex, contraception and relationships advice and counselling, and help with problems around drugs and homelessness.

Drop-in sessions are run from the first floor of the XC from 1pm to 6pm Mondays to Fridays, but if you want to book an appointment to speak to an advisor about something specific, call 01442 454934.

Visit youthconnexions.org or channelmogo.org for more.