Cardiff-based school’s provision, ACT Schools, has been awarded a grant from the Youth Endowment Fund to support young people at-risk of being drawn into violent crime through the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACT Schools will use the grant to establish a fully mobile team which will include outreach workers (both youth work and teacher trained) as well as a school-based counsellor to help re-engage their learners post COVID-19. As well as supporting a return to education and refocus on career prospects, the team will help learners avoid the possibility of becoming engaged in violence and crime in their communities. In addition, the grant will enable purchasing of Chrome Books for every learner to support their digital development. This will help equip learners with the knowledge and resources they need in the future, should social distance learning remain.
ACT Schools was formed in 2012, in response to the number of young people engaging with ACT at age 16 with deficient literacy and numeracy skills. ACT developed a specific, targeted Schools Programme as an attempt to redress this fundamental issue, currently a barrier for far too many young people across Wales. ACT strongly believe that early intervention is needed to ensure all young people, especially those disengaged with education, are able to enter the world of work with the best possible chance of success.
With centres in Cardiff and Caerphilly, ACT Schools offer an alternative education to young people who have been excluded or are at risk of exclusion, who are school phobic or are classed as vulnerable. The programme is designed to engage young people and help them overcome their barriers to participation, preparing them for adulthood and the world of work.
Speaking about the grant award, Kelly Rowlands, Head of 11-16 Education at ACT Schools commented, “We are absolutely delighted to have received this grant from the Youth Endowment Fund. The past few months have been hugely unsettling for our learners and returning to full time education is going to pose some real challenges. This grant will allow us to put a specialist support team in place to help make that transition back to school just that extra bit easier for our learners.”
Jon Yates, Executive Director at Youth Endowment Fund, added: “It has been too easy to forget vulnerable young people during this crisis. The pandemic has removed much of the critical support that many of them rely upon – from teachers to youth workers. This funding will help us find the best way to reach and support these young people when they most need it.”
ACT Schools is one of 130 organisations to share part of a £6.5m grant pot from the Youth Endowment Fund to help at-risk young people impacted by COVID-19.
The Youth Endowment Fund is an independent charitable trust set up by the Home Office. It funds, supports and evaluates projects in England and Wales which work to prevent children and young people from being drawn into violent crime.