Middleton, Cottingley, Beeston and Rothwell Young People Kick Start Their Future

This article was written by Sharon Kumar using the South Leeds Life Community Reporters website:


Igen have been running a project over the summer holidays with young people in the area who have persistently low attendance in school.

Via Connexions Targeted Support we offer a free and confidential service to young people aged 13 – 19 in the local area. We have drop-in sessions that run all over South Leeds where young people can come and see a personal adviser for support around anything that is concerning them such as housing, money, relationships and employment, education or training.

The Kick Start Attendance Project was developed by Igen and supported by agency partners including Health for All and the Youth Service as well as attendance improvement officers from the schools. The project ran over the school holidays with a group of young people aged 13 – 16 with behaviour and attendance issues in school.

The six-week intensive programme encouraged the young people to explore their issues and think of new ways of overcoming barriers that are preventing them from attending and enjoying school and achieving successful outcomes.

The sessions gave the young people the opportunity to learn and develop new and existing skills around self-esteem and confidence, self-leadership, healthy relationships and confidence building as well as developing skills to cope with conflict and tackling temper.

The group was able to think about their aspirations and plans for the future as well as participate in fun based activities to re-affirm their learning at Herd Farm and West Yorkshire Playhouse. The young people also learned self defence techniques and cooked Mexican food which was a new experience for many.

At the end of the project, the group will be supported back into school and receive continued 1 -1 support from a designated school based personal adviser from the Connexions Targeted Support team. This support aims to ensure individual goals that were set at the beginning of the project continue to be addressed and achieved with a view to improve attendance, behaviour and egagement in school and improve future transition post school into education, employment or training opportunities.

One young person on the project who had less than 20% school attendance last year said:

“This project has kept me out of trouble and off the streets. I am looking forward to going back to school now that I have made new friends, I never thought I would say that!”

If you are or know of a young person who requires support from the Connexions Targeted Support team or information about the service we provide and local drop – in dates, please contact us at:

sharon.kumar@igengroup.co.uk or telephone me on 07738 212064.