Youth Project – Growing Confidence

The Fordhall ‘Growing Confidence’ Youth Project works with small numbers of students who may be struggling to engage in the conventional education setting. We use agricultural and conservation activities to develop their skills, confidence and self-esteem, helping them to achieve direction in life, and offering support in their career progression.

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This project is kindly part funded by the Big Lottery ‘Our Bright Future’ fund and part funded by the participating school. As part of our exciting new partnership with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Field Study Centre (Preston Montford) and the Plunkett Foundation, we will be offering opportunities within their reserves and wildlife facilities, in addition to work upon the farm. Our connections with the Plunkett Foundation will also enable us to offer guidance in social enterprise to the young people.

Outdoor activities have been proven to provide a valuable alternative to conventional education, offering non-competitive avenues for achievement and opportunities to develop independence and self-reliance.

We deliver a programme of activities that stimulate, engage, enthuse and impart knowledge about a broad range of agricultural and conservation activities, which also help to prepare young people for work, giving them an understanding of the importance of time-keeping, appropriate clothing, teamwork etc. We build transferable skills through activities such as; conservation work, surveying, greenwood working, farm maintenance, growing, cooking, fencing and occasional livestock husbandry.

Working with no more than two students per leader once a week, we help these young people, for whom the conventional classroom setting is not working, to develop their abilities and prepare them for life after GCSE’s.

In 2014, Ofsted reported that “Low-level disruptive behaviour in classrooms across the country is impeding children’s learning and damaging their life chances”. This has a negative knock-on effect with fellow students and the broader community within which they interact.

The Fordhall youth project is supporting the learners in very small groups which has huge benefit to those more timid learners who need a supportive environment to develop their skills and confidence and for whom a work placement with a larger employer would not be appropriate. The project has challenged young people to try activities that are unfamiliar with and that they would not have taken part in otherwise. It has also given the opportunity for learners to pass on the skills they have learned to new participants when they have joined at different stages in the project.” Fiona Challinor, County Training.

If you have students that can benefit from this service then please contact Mike in the office 01630 638696 to discuss the opportunities available to you.