The Hunter Foundation - investing in enterprise

The Hunter Foundation - investing in enterprise

Children in Need

Children in Need/The Hunter Foundation - Positive Destinations

The cost to the taxpayer of one individual who becomes NEET and stays that way is some £ 100 000; we have hundreds of thousands of young people already there and a similar number destined to go that way; the human cost is unfathomable...

Statistics are one thing, what we are speaking about are individual lives; here’s Jade’s story:

At 12 Jade was made homeless and taken into ‘care’ by her Local Authority; between the age of 12 and 16 Jade was in 24 different types of ‘care’ from foster parents to ‘care’ homes...Jade was heading towards a lifetime of NEET...At 16 Jade joined the Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) Programme described herein. Today Jade is in full time education in college, is a mentor for YES and has just qualified for her own Local Authority home.

Of the children in care less than 20% will go on to a positive destination; 81% have after the YES programme. The cost per student, a mere £ 800 - what price do we put on a fulfilled life?

The Positive Destinations programme is a partnership between BBC Children in Need and The Hunter Foundation. In 2008, we awarded just over £1.7 million to five projects across the UK, which focused on improving outcomes for children and young people who are either not in education, employment or training or are at risk of becoming so. Grants were awarded for three years. The projects we selected each focus on a different aspect of the issue and take a unique and innovative approach to tackling it.

Grants Awarded

Young Enterprise Scotland Scotland - £429,261 Overall Aim The project provides business enterprise training to young people in Central Scotland, mainly those who are looked after or accommodated and have poor educational attainment, low self-confidence and limited aspirations.

Project Outline

Young Enterprise Scotland works with several partner organisations which directly support young people in care. Each young person is invited to undertake a four phase programme of business and employability skills, including the possibility of running a ‘real’ business. The programme delivery is customised to fit the participant’s individual needs and each phase has a notional duration of four weeks. On completion of the programme participants are supported to implement their individual Action Plans, which include moving into further education, employment or training.

Partner organisations include Barnardo’s, Queens Cross Housing Association, Kibble, Quarriers and Includem.

Groundwork Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Stoke on Trent - £174,777

Overall Aim

To work with Year 6 pupils at risk of becoming NEET in the future and support their transition to Secondary School through a series of activities developed by the pupils that culminates in a summer school programme for the rest of the peer group that builds confidence and raises aspirations.

Project Outline

Groundwork Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire works with primary school staff to identify a core group of children who are at risk of becoming NEET. The project is currently working with four primary schools feeding into one secondary school. The children attend a weekly activity session which is focused on developing a week-long programme of summer activities for a wider group of children. This is designed to give them increased attention and support in preparation for transition and to develop their skills for planning, creativity, communication and team work.

Bryson Charitable Group Belfast, Northern Ireland - £173,782

Overall Aim

Bryson Charitable Group is working in partnership with Loughshore Educational Resource Centre. The project beneficiaries are young people who have been excluded from mainstream education and attend Loughshore Educational Resource Centre. These young people face a number of challenges within school, at home and in their local communities, including homelessness, addiction, low self esteem, anti-social behaviour, poor parental support and truancy. The aim of the project is to address the individual needs of these young people (aged 15-17) through providing support needed both in the home and school environment in order to provide greater cohesion between school and home environments to aid their transition between school and adult life.

Project Outline

Each young person is supported by a school-based mentor and a Personal Family Resource Worker. The Mentor acts as the young person's key contact based in the school. The Personal Family Resource Worker is responsible for understanding the young person's views and concerns and plays an active role in problem-solving and devising home and community based solutions to barriers to the young person's aspirations.

With the support of project staff, each young person develops a ‘personal aspiration plan’ which includes their aims for home and school and a clear plan for moving on after school.

Bryson and Loughshore hold regular meetings to monitor the young person’s progress towards their 'personal aspiration plans'. As the project is young person-centred, all activities in the plan reflect individual need and interest and seek to tackle any challenges they face in achieving their aspirations. Support for the young people continues for up to a year after they leave school in order to improve the chance of a successful transition to adult life.

Shelter Knowsley, Merseyside £499,867

Overall Aim

To support 600 children in families which have been found intentionally homeless by the Local Authority, or who are at risk of eviction because of antisocial behaviour. The support focuses on helping these children achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes, overcoming obstacles they face to fulfilling their potential. The project vision is to ensure that the 450 children are living in stable housing circumstances, playing a full and constructive part in their family life and taking advantage of the opportunities provided and especially school.

Project Outline

The project has a town centre location in Knowsley to raise awareness and local presence of the service. It takes referrals from a range of statutory and voluntary organisations. The project undertakes a needs assessment for every child. If required, the project uses the Common Assessment Framework to identify how to provide the most appropriate support for the child from multi-agency teams. Project staff often take the role of ‘lead professional’ and ensure that commitments made in the Common Assessment Framework is fulfilled.

If considered necessary, the child attends one to one sessions with project staff, which are specifically tailored to their needs and interests. One of the factors these sessions focus on is getting children back into school. Children are encouraged to develop positive attitudes about themselves, restoring their self-confidence and ability to interact well socially. The project workers also provide guidance and practical support/advocacy to parents who are struggling to cope with the challenges of homelessness.

School - Home Support (SHS) Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield - £483,904

Overall Aim

The aim of the project is to deliver the emotional and practical support needed to help vulnerable children and young people in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to aspire and achieve. This is achieved through:

  • Reducing the risk factors of children and young people becoming NEET
  • Early intervention
  • Building emotional resilience among children, young people and families


Project Outline

Nine practitioners in Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield have been recruited to deliver support to 5 – 17 year olds who are struggling with their education and their school experience and are therefore at risk of becoming NEET. School-Home Support (SHS) practitioners are based in and become an integral part of school life. These young people are supported in their home and school lives to reach their full potential. The project also coordinates support from other agencies that may be required to intervene in the lives of the children and young people, in order to provide holistic support. The project uses the Common Assessment Framework to assess the needs of the child and to ensure the most appropriate types of support. Activities undertaken with parents and children include:

  • Parenting classes
  • Counselling
  • Home visits
  • Facilitating meetings/appointments with statutory bodies
  • Chatting with parents in the playground