Media Release: A capital trip for childcare graduates


A TRIP to London was the reward and the challenge for some of the graduates from’s Men-into-Childcare programme, which was supported by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

Six of the 11 young men who completed the year-long programme spent two days sightseeing in the capital, with visits to the London Dungeon, the Hard Rock Café, the London Eye and Madam Tussauds.

Training manager, Alan Gray, said: “The trip was our way of thanking the lads for their hard work and commitment and as a treat for successfully completing the course.

“But it also had a serious side, as they were split into pairs and each group had to plan parts of the trip.

“So it involved some planning, some confidence building and some broadening of their horizons as we used the full range of public transport and the boys got a real feel for how cosmopolitan a city like London really is.”

Craig Cunningham, 21, who kept a diary of the event, said: “It was a great trip and a fantastic way to round off the course, as none of us had ever been in London before.”

The boys on the programme achieved Intermediate 2 in Early Education and Childcare, which is the first step to a fulltime college placement and Higher National Certificates in the same subject which could help them towards careers in teaching, nursing, social work or nursery education.

Since graduating, five of them have secured college places; three are going into fulltime employment one has joined the Navy to train a medic and one has an outstanding job interview and one still job hunting.’s development director, Janice Hendry, said: “Alan and his team have taken 11 unemployed young men, with no vision, no direction, and in their eyes no hope in their life, through a programme of development and self discovery that has given them every chance of successful and meaningful careers.

“That’s an achievement of which everyone at Yipworld is tremendously proud.”

Nicky Wilson, of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust which backed the project with a £50,000 grant, said: “One of our key priorities is improving employment opportunities in coalfields areas, and we knew we could rely on Yipworld’s professionalism to make these young men genuinely employable in a range of childcare related jobs.”

The Leader Programme matched the CRT’s £50,000 grant.

Eleven lads from the Cumnock area completed the course. They are: Craig Cunningham, 21, Gary Stark, 21, Aaron Naismith, 18, Martin Thomson, 20, Douglas Reilly, 20, John Mullen, 20, Ross Baillie, 20, Thomas Goudie,19, Craig Milligan, 20, Barry Gormanley, 21 and Lee Bradford, 18.


Note to Editors:

  • The picture shows: l to r: Douglas Reilly, Gary Stark, Martin Thompson, John Mullen, Åaron Naismith, and Craig Cunningham.
  • The Scottish Government funds the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland
  • Our key priorities are supporting local initiatives to improve health and employment prospects for those who live in coalfields areas. 
  • The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was formed in 1999 to help mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures.  Since then the Trust has spent over £15m in Scotland supporting over 500 community-based and job creation projects in the hardest hit areas.
  • For more information on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust go to:
  •, is an award winning social enterprise company, youth initiative, childcare and training provider based in Cumnock in East Ayrshire, providing a wide range of activities for children and young people on a daily basis from out of school care to senior drop-in. 

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