First of all: Thank you for reading this.
I would like to raise enough money to give me time to research how to build on the work I've been doing the last 12 years, in schools, with vulnerable young people and those at risk from exclusion.
The school I worked in recently closed permanently: A school with a high number of permanently excluded students, students with behavioural issues (used as a coping mechanism), young people with mental health issues, young people that have experienced change or trauma, Looked After Children, young offenders and young people that have lost confidence in their own future. These young people were resilient, bright and full of potential, able to make a significant positive impact on their community.
The closure of the school was a loss for its community. Consequently, we did a lot of extra student and family support to ensure the best transition for these young people. In doing so conversations opened up with families expressing the need for the way in which we were working: non judgemental listening, reaching out to link them with other support agencies and organisations, building confidence and belonging in their young people and ensuring that they had access to the best options for them. The last Crowdfunding we did ensured that many of our year 13 students were able to start their university career with initial financial assistance, the impact of this was massive and we were so grateful to those who helped. Many of these students were BAME and the first in their family to go to university.
I would now like to look at how I can take our working model out of schools and open it up the the wider community, creating a 'one stop shop'for families and young people seeking support with whatever that may be- a parent unsure of how and where to gain mental health support for a reluctant teenager, a looked after child trying to do college applications, a permanently excluded young person wishing to retake GCSEs and rebuild their life.
I would also like to bring in the option of a creative element ie writing -where young people gain control of their experiences through writing, journalling, even doodling- building up much needed literacy skills. I would love to bring in writers like Innua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi, Lucy Christopher and Melvin Burgess to help create and curate their work.
So I need time to meet with pupil referral units, community leaders, writers and most importantly - young people themselves.
I didn't want to rush into a another full time job in a school, especially when many schools' pastoral support is minimal and school exclusions frequent. This funding will allow me to work at this alongside part-time work and will give me time to prepare for formal funding applications.
I know there is a need for this, as services are cut and schools continue to struggle with vulnerable students.
I have worked in student support for 12 years, most recently as a pastoral and behaviour manager- I love this work, it is a vocation. With your help I think we can create something meaningful that has a strong positive impact on young people's lives.
I would love to be able to thank and stay in touch with supporters, anyone interested, any queries - so please feel free to email me on email@example.com