Northern Enterprise Awards 2020

17 | Northern Enterprise Awards 2020 Oct20455 Best Disadvantaged Youth Education & Development Enterprise - North East Based in the East End of the City of Newcastle, Foundation Futures is a not for profit Community Interest Company that works with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in the North East. Many of these children are excluded from mainstream education due to mental distress or circumstances beyond their control, which prohibit them for thriving in traditional school environments. Foundation Futures seeks to provide them instead with alternative learning environments that will allow them to thrive, focusing on finding out what they CAN do instead of what they can’t. In doing so, the organisation empowers young people to gain self-esteem and self-confidence to venture into further training and employment that they would have otherwise avoided. Foundation Futures is an active participant in the local Community Partnership of the East End, an area which has been found to be one of the most deprived nationally and in the bottom 2% of the national index of multiple deprivation. In the last decade, Newcastle has seen a drop of 80% in youth funding and the effects are clear to see. The lack of opportunities and spaces for young people to socialise in has caused a rise in antisocial and criminal behaviour, which is only being compounded by the ongoing pandemic restrictions. In addition, school exclusions are on the rise and since 2014, the number of children in need has increased by a staggering 73%. However, Newcastle and the North East is a hardworking, friendly and collaborative region, and in the small community of the East End, people get to know each other well. As such, Foundation Futures is able to work closely with local businesses, community groups, outward bound organisations and public services to provide the alternative education methods to help these children thrive and give them the opportunities to continue doing so later in life. For instance, team building activities are developed with the Army and other outdoor pursuits organisations, whilst volunteer local businesses provide experience in the working world to give children the insights and confidence to explore potential careers. In addition, Foundation Futures provides a whole range of activities, including youth clubs, coding clubs, an adult social and education hub, support for sixteen to twenty-four year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), an internet cafe and parent’s club, as well as holiday activities. No other organisation in the local area approaches alternative education like Foundation Futures does, which takes learning out into the community as much as possible. Moreover, learning is always done in a group of around eight with two experienced teaching or support staff to guide the activity, in order to promote both independence and collaboration. The importance of collaboration extends to the team at Foundation Futures as well, who are each encouraged and supported as much as the young people they look after. Made up of positive, creative thinkers who are flexible and deeply passionate about supporting young people and their families, the Foundation Futures team is always striving to be the best it can be in achieving the organisation’s founding mission: to engage vulnerable children and young people in positive activities and help change lives. The organisation is growing, in particular due to the launch of new and exciting projects like ‘Make Stuff’. Make Stuff is designed to introduce children to technology and coding in fun and collaborative ways, encouraging interest in Science Technology and Maths, which can be intimidating or uninteresting in mainstream education. With projects such as this, Foundation Futures is able to inspire the young people that the mainstream has neglected, giving them the lifechanging education that is the launchpad for the rest of their lives. Company: Foundation Futures Contact: Christine Henwood Web Address: Foundation Futures is a specialist teaching and youth service dedicated to helping young people across the North East of England find out what they can do, instead of what they can’t. The organisation works with local businesses, community groups and public services to provide alternative options for children and young people who are permanently excluded from mainstream education. We found out more about this Newcastle-based organisation and its lifechanging mission. Foundation Futures seeks to provide them instead with alternative learning environments that will allow them to thrive, focusing on finding out what they CAN do instead of what they can’t.