We have often heard the term “hard to reach” when describing groups that are less likely to engage in services and this narrative is something we are trying hard to change. Rather than focusing on the individual and the narrative of being “hard to reach” our philosophy as a team is to flip that assumption on its head and establish how can we make our service easier to reach to support engagement and outcomes for care experienced young people. The recent care review has helped to shape discussion and we have continued to engage with the chair through our webinar and become. We have also been discussing with our young people the current cost of living crisis and their input helped us to create a cost-of-living report which has been well received. The findings of this report will be shared across the sector at Esmee Fairbairn Learning Day in November.
"I am so glad I attended the session I have learnt so much"Participant
Over quarter 1 we have supported 13 young people into or retaining some type of employment (both paid and voluntary), training or education.
- 2 young people have found paid employment, 4 young people are volunteering in the education, charity, and public service sectors.
- 5 young people have either entered or retained their places for a second year in both further and higher education.
- 2 young people have completed training courses linked to sports leadership and outdoor winter sports.
We have successfully delivered a weekly football session with 16-20 young people attending on a weekly basis. Due to the success of the sessions and listening to the voices of the young people we are now offering an employability drop-in session focussed on supporting the young people to become work ready.
We continue to run our weekly participation / chill and chat sessions which give our young people a safe space to come and take part in creative activities and share their opinions on things that matter to them. Listening to the voices of our young people we have identified mental health as a significant factor impacting on their lives. We are now working with our young people on this topic but using the recent care review and the recommendations to start shaping a campaign focussed on “mental health & care experienced” young people.
We have worked through many changes within the team over recent weeks and this has made things more difficult to establish and get off the ground. As a team, we are now moving in the right direction with a clear plan of work in to Quarter 2 leading up to Christmas. We are now in the process of recruiting a Project Development Officer and a Policy and Advocacy Officer who will be great assets to the team.
We have developed relationships with statutory partners including virtual schools and leaving care teams across the city and county. We are collaborating with Park Lodge Project offering a programme to support their young people to become “work ready”. Nylah homes is a new relationship we are trying to harness. We see this as a great opportunity to provide drop-in services to support young people in an outreach capacity.
We are reaching out currently for businesses to sponsor our employability projects in some capacity whether that be through a donation of equipment, employability skills or even offering to sponsor a football shirt that the group can use. We're also greatly appreciate of Steve Perkins Associates who have supported one of our care experienced young people with one-to-one mentoring, helping the young person to develop their confidence and consider their future aspirations.
The power of networking and reaching out to the community has brought a fresh energy and enthusiasm to the team. Broadening our approach to support is in its infancy however we are pleased with the relationships we are beginning to develop with both professionals and young people across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.
If you're a business or an individual who would like to get involved with the Powering Up Project, please contact email@example.com