Scaling what works

A new partnership is giving us a chance to reach schools in new locations

Community-Apprentice goes North!

A new partnership is giving us an opportunity to develop an alternative delivery model to enable Envision to offer its model in schools nationally beyond the three cities where we currently operate.

This October we launched a pilot to deliver Community-Apprentice in six secondary academies in Manchester and Leeds. The exciting launch took place at Manchester City Football ground, where we challenged young people to start setting their own goals at breakout sessions held in the VIP boxes of the Chairman’s suites! The academies involved are part of the Co-op Academies Trust which is sponsored by the Co-operative Group. The number of academies will increase to ten in the following year and more thereafter. Our aim is to embed the programme within the Co-op Academies Trust so that it becomes a self-sustaining programme and we are no longer needed. The Co-op Academies Trust has recently taken on six new schools and has ambitious plans to become one of the largest multi academy trusts in the country so this is an opportunity which has the potential to benefit thousands of young people.

Frank Norris, Director of the Co-op Academies Trust, says “We were looking for a programme that had the potential for increasing social action amongst our students. We were keen that it supported the Co-operative values and encouraged greater working together in our schools. Envision was able to offer us a proven model which they were willing to adapt to our specific needs and this feels a much better approach than re-inventing wheels.”

As for our current programme, we will continue to provide milestones and structure through delivering three cross-school events. We will also provide an inter-school challenge based on a team social action challenge and personal skills challenges, although we will be adapting these to fit the needs of the Trust. The key difference however is that young people will be supported to develop the projects by school staff, rather than Envision Coaches. Our role will be to provide training and resources.

Our Community-Apprentice programme with the Co-op Academies Trust is funded by the Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, through its #iwill Fund. The Foundation also funds Community-Apprentice in two locations in Birmingham.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Co-op Foundation has supported Envision for more than a decade, helping young people tackle stereotypes and loneliness to make things better for themselves and their peers. We are delighted to scale up our funding to help Envision extend its current Community-Apprentice programme into Co-op Academies. Community-Apprentice is a proven programme that supports young people to tackle loneliness by helping them build their resilience and team working skills as well as make new connections.”

Jennie Butterworth, Envision CEO, says “This exciting development is not intended to replace our direct delivery model which will continue to focus on young people who are from disadvantaged backgrounds. It will, however, enable us to share what we have learned so that schools themselves can engage a wider cohort in meaningful character education”.