We recognise that not everyone in our area has a job or has a job that pays very well. We are committed to helping local people to get training, experience and qualifications that will give them a leg up.
We’ll support our local schools in the same way – our funding rules say that we can’t provide funding for statutory services, so we couldn’t pay the salary of an extra teacher for example, but we can support our schools in ways that add value to what they deliver. We’ve some examples below.
Teaching Assistant Qualifications
We were looking for ways that we could support residents who volunteered locally and had a flash of inspiration whilst talking to one of our local Headteachers.
We found a training provider who delivered training for the Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification, arranged for them to deliver it in our then community hub over 14 weeks and were able to support 12 people to gain a nationally accredited vocational qualification. Not only that most of them then got Teaching Assistant jobs with local schools, including kay, Michelle and Gareth in the photo.
Sacred Heart Summer School
Sacred Heart run a Summer School every year to help some of their children (those that qualify for free school meals) to have a week refresher before they go back to school in September.
They approached us in 2015 and explained that there were children in our project area that didn’t qualify for a place but who would benefit from attending the Summer School and could we help by sponsoring their places.
Our Partnership Board agreed to the request (and made the same offer to the other schools in our area) and have sponsored 20 children each year since.
The aim of the Summer School is to refresh children’s reading, writing and maths skills. School staff make the whole week fun, there’s usually a trip somewhere and children get to choose and make their own lunch. The week helps bring vital skills back up to where they should be and also lets children socialise and play with friends who they might not have seen since school finished.
In 2021, to reflect the disruption to learning which had affected many children during the covid pandemic, our Partnership Board agreed to sponsor more children and so funds to support 27 children were provided.
Laptops for Local Schools during Covid-19
We realised pretty soon into the first lockdown in 2020 that there may be children who lived in our project area who didn’t have access to the sorts of IT resources that they needed to be able to do the sort of home-schooling that the government expected.
We spoke to our local headteachers at Leigh Central, St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart and they told us that whilst they had some equipment which they had been able to give to some pupils, there were still some children who were without.
We were able to provide each school with funds to buy a laptop, mouse, 4G dongle and carry case for each of the children that didn’t have IT access. We think it’s important that children living in our area have every opportunity and we were happy to commit funds to support local schools and their pupils.
We worked in partnership with national organisation Groundwork to support two local men by sponsoring apprenticeships with their groundworking team.
The qualification was a Level 2 BTEC through Myerscough College over a period of 12 months. The apprentices had on the job experience as well as gaining a nationally accredited qualification.
Volunteering in the community is one of the most rewarding pastimes that can be enjoyed by absolutely anybody and everybody.