Rising star programme to help disadvantaged South Tyneside youngsters achieve their goals
Sky’s the limit for disadvantaged South Tyneside youngsters thanks to Key’s Guy Readman Rising Stars Programme.
Key is planning on helping more than 30 young people aged 15-18 per year, for up to two years, through the Guy Readman Rising Stars Programme at the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.
The charity which provides housing advice, support and accommodation services to young people aged 16-24 at risk of homelessness or experiencing hardship established the programme to deliver work that inspires and informs young people about the options available to them and navigates them to their chosen career, training, and/or further education pathway.
The charity is working in partnership with target schools, as well as with its existing client group and their extended cohort. The aim is that at least 22 of these will move into high education, training or employment per year.
Key’s Rising Stars Mentor provides intensive tailored support to the young people identified to participate in the programme.The aim is to identify skills, talents and passions and translate into future career or business opportunities, for example, supporting young people to explore options around apprenticeships, further or higher education, to navigate the realities of business start-up or build and use networks to find out about jobs or get information, advice, and support.
The mentor supports the young person to develop a detailed Personal Growth Plan (PGP) which will include goals and milestones.
Additionally, a bursary fund provides financial support with associated expenses where needed, such as clothing and equipment or travel costs.
Each aspiring young person is matched with an appropriate mentor who can support their career development, and the relationships will be managed and nurtured by a member of the organisation’s senior management team.
Participants will also have access to Key’s enrichment programme, which enables its young people to access opportunities and make connections to broaden their horizons that more affluent youngsters routinely benefit from, for example, visits to parliament, meeting with local MPs and other members of ‘the great and the good.’
The funding became available thanks to the generosity of Guy Readman OBE, a former North East Business Executive of the Year, and a patron and board member of the Community Foundation. Guy sadly died in 2014, but his family remain heavily involved in grant-making from the funds that he established.
A key principle of Guy’s philanthropic vision, was that a young person’s background should be no barrier to aspiration, attainment, or achievement.
Ross Allen, Chief Executive Officer, at Key, said: “This programme is making a huge difference to those bright young people taking part, helping them to gain confidence and self-esteem, overcome the identified challenges and barriers they face, identify their innate strengths, talents, interests and aspirations and support them to realise their ambitions which will enable them to fulfil their true potential and go on to live independent and successful lives.”
Ross Wilson, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation added: “Approximately six-months into the project, it has been fantastic to see how the organisation’s newly recruited mentors are engaging with young people as they work towards their goals to secure opportunities in further education and future employment.”