Widening reach

The start of a new school year sees a doubling in the number of schools being given the opportunity to deliver the Community-Apprentice Programme themselves.

Envision has, to date, focused on direct delivery of programmes to those most in need.  Through doing this we have developed evidence-based practice which we want to share more widely with other adults supporting young peoples’ personal development. Last year, with the support of the Co-op Foundation, we partnered up the Co-op Multi-Academy Trust to explore one way we might achieve this.

Teachers in six of their secondary academies serving disadvantaged communities in Manchester and Leeds, delivered the group activities for teams of young people drawing on inspiration and resources provided by Envision. 

Envision adapted the existing inter-school competition to reflect the needs of the schools and funders, whilst ensuring that we incorporated our own experience about what works.

Envision National Programme Manager, Micaela Linnane, explains

working with co-funder the #iwill campaign (which campaigns to get more young people involved in social action) we challenged participating teams to compete to see who could inspire the most pupils in their school to get involved with their projects. This also reflected the Co-op values of working together and caring for others.  

As for Envision-delivered versions of the programme, points young people also earned towards the competition for completing personal skills challenges.   These skills challenges meant that teachers could use their own creativity in setting activities, but everyone was working towards the same clearly defined outcomes."

Participating teams tackled a range of topical issues including mental health, period poverty, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change and intergenerational loneliness. Between them they engaged 4,000 of their peers in social action contributing to outcomes such as planting over 400 trees, giving away 3,000 sanitary products to students, hosting the very first Pride Day within the Co-op Academies Trust, establishing an LGBTQ+ safe space for students and connecting 50 students with local elderly residents through a penpal scheme.