A fresh start and new experiences motivates young people at school

7th November 2022

Missing a few days of school here and there may not seem a big deal, but in some areas, school attendance dropped massively during and following the pandemic, threatening young peoples’ education. Young peoples’ charity, Brathay Trust, designed a programme called Elevate to support young people in Barrow-in-Furness who were failing to attend school. The project received £20,464 from theYoung Person’s Opportunity Fund.

The programme was designed to help young people with their personal development, make positive choices and learn new skills and behaviours.
A team of experienced youth workers supported 24 young people through group activities and weekly one-to-one sessions.

Matt* was 12 when he started attending the Elevate programme after being referred by his teacher. Refusing to attend school, his behaviour was causing issues at home, and he needed the opportunity to go down a more positive path.

Matt’s mum said: “Elevate has helped Matt’s attendance improve massively. I don’t struggle to get him to go to school like I used to. Sometimes, I had to leave work as he had walked out of school, but now he likes going.”

Following a mountain biking session, Matt asked for a bike for Christmas and has continued to develop this hobby in his free time. “Mountain biking has motivated me to work hard at school and get a good job so that when I’m older, I have the time and money to do good hobbies like mountain biking, and not just mess around and waste my time,” said Matt.

Young people also enjoyed activities such as canoeing, sports, indoor climbing, pottery, bushcraft, hiking, ghyll scrambling, music producing and indoor skateboarding/scootering.

Sarah Cubiss, Delivery Manager, said: “Every young person in Year 11 who took part applied for Post 16 courses and are embracing the challenges of transition from school to college with confidence. Elevate has enabled these young people to seek and access support with confidence, which has led to positive engagement with school, families and peers.”

*name has been changed