Project Apollo

Happy Days for Corey

Sadie White No Comments

At the launch of our project to support care leavers into sustained education, employment and training at Star House last month, Corey talked about his passion for cycles and how he wanted to work building and repairing cycles. An attendee at the event from Efficiency North spoke to Faye Campbell, Project Co-ordinator after the event and said that she had a contact at a social enterprise project who build, repair and sell cycles and that they may be able to work with Corey to help him achieve his aspiration.

Happy Days Cycles is a social enterprise business based in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax. All profits go towards funding work to support the homeless in West Yorkshire.

Project worker Robeina made contact with Dave Fawcett at Happy Days who really kindly  came to Sheffield to meet Corey and Robeina and was so impressed by Corey that he offered to give him a taster day at the project. It was agreed that Corey would come in to the workshop and build a cycle which he would then be able to keep.  As Corey has just joined the newly formed Care Leavers Mountain Bike group set up by Dave Cohen, Leaving Care Service Manager, this was great news! Robeina and Corey had a brilliant day and Corey returned home with his cycle.

‘This opportunity has provided Corey with an invaluable taste of working in the cycle trade and the opportunity to complete further work experience with Happy Days and gain a reference. Our employer engagement officer Alex Leonard is currently working on sourcing an opportunity for Corey at a local cycle retailer. These opportunities are fantastic for our young people – what a fantastic opportunity for Corey. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Happy Days Cycles for making Corey’s experience so fantastic and encouraging him to pursue this line of work.’ Faye Campbell, Project Apollo Co-ordinator.

Corey with his bike built at Happy Days Cycles

Early success for Project Apollo – supporting care leavers into education, employment & training

Tash Bright No Comments

Project Apollo, launched in October 2018, is a programme offering support to young people leaving care helping them to move into education, work and training. The project, commissioned by Sheffield City Council’s Leaving Care Service and delivered by Sheffield Futures, will help 100 young people towards a brighter future with careers guidance, help applying for opportunities, work experience, practical careers advice and barrier-busting long-term support.

We recently held a local launch event with local councillors, employers, training providers and representatives from Department for Education. We were lucky to introduce three care leavers who are engaged with the project who took part in a Q&A, discussing the support that they needed and had received so far. This informative session was eye-opening and the group were wished the very best for the future.

There has already been success for Project Apollo, with dedicated Transition Coaches providing tailored support to each young person on the programme, guiding them in to education, employment and training.

Department for Education data reveals that nationally between 2014 and 2017 the amount of 19 to 21year-old care leavers classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) rose by 6% to 10,250. The data shows that nationally care leavers are three times more likely to be NEET than their peers.

A Higher Education Policy Institute report in 2017 shows that only 6% of care leavers in England were in higher education and ‘at every key stage, the academic performance of children in care is worse than their peers.’

The programme has already signed 41 young people signed up and receiving support from their Transitions Coaches and we have already helped:

  • 1 young person to achieve an apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant.
  • 1 young person to receive a job offer at local precision engineering company.
  • 1 young person to gain employment at Sheffield Futures as a youth worker and to have their say as a Sheffield Young Advisor.
  • 3 young people to gain employment at local call centres.

Project Apollo has also helped 7 young people to access training opportunities and helped to demonstrate the opportunities and experiences available to the group, by organising work experience at a variety of employers including a beauty salon and a livery yard.

Our Employer Engagement Officer has been busy meeting with employers across the city, organising work experience, mock interviews, tours around workplaces and more. Civil Service Local has generously offered a half-day session full of enriching and engaging activities, meetings and games to inform and bring to life the roles within the Civil Service. For example, they will be able to sit in on a real ‘standing meeting’ and will get to talk with a real apprentice. After this, they will be able to apply for traineeships, apprenticeships and direct hire with mentor support from civil servants.

This isn’t our only success with employers in Sheffield, we have been engaging with Sheffield City Council and Engie who are highly invested in care leavers completing their construction skills programme ‘Building Block,’ and so are giving Project Apollo priority slots and preferential treatment where appropriate. The Building Block offers CSCS card training, work experience and jobs.

We have also been lucky enough to visit the House of Commons with one of the young people who is signed up to receive support via Project Apollo. The House of Commons visit was a launch for National Social Impact Bonds, of which three are running and Project Apollo is one of these.

 

Project Apollo launches to support care leavers to move in to education, work and training

Tash Bright No Comments

Project Apollo has launched to support young people leaving care to move into education, work and training. The project, commissioned by Sheffield City Council’s Leaving Care Service and delivered by youth charity Sheffield Futures, will help 100 young people towards a brighter future with careers guidance, help applying for opportunities, work experience, practical careers advice and barrier-busting long-term support.

Dedicated Transition Coaches will work closely with the Leaving Care Service to provide tailored support to each young person on the programme, guiding them in to education, employment and training and supporting them over the next three years.

Department for Education data reveals that nationally between 2014 and 2017 the amount of 19 to 21year-old care leavers classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) rose by 6% to 10,250. The data shows that nationally care leavers are three times more likely to be NEET than their peers.

A Higher Education Policy Institute report in 2017 shows that only 6% of care leavers in England were in higher education and ‘at every key stage, the academic performance of children in care is worse than their peers.’

Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted to be the lead delivery partner for Project Apollo – the new Department for Education Social Impact Bond project to support care leavers into education, employment and training. Many care leavers can struggle to progress successfully into education or employment. Our delivery model will provide care leavers with intensive specialist support – giving them every chance to succeed in the workplace.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “We want to ensure that our Care Leavers get every help and support they can to access education, training or employment.  I’m pleased that Project Apollo will enable the Council’s Leaving Care Service to work with Sheffield Futures to give our care leavers every opportunity to achieve their full potential and progress successfully in the future.”

Project Apollo, delivered by Sheffield Futures, has been funded by the Department for Education Social Impact Bond, awarded to Sheffield City Council.

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