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Every Child Matters to Blue River in South East Birmingham
Every child matters? Well, Blue River certainly thinks so.
At a time when youth unemployment is at the forefront of government agenda and increasing funding is being given to projects working with young people – aged 18-24 while not in education or employment or training (NEET), the benefit of companies working with young people before they become part of the statistics is particularly important.
Blue River is a not-for-profit organisation that was set up with the sole intention of helping disadvantaged young people in the Birmingham area. They launched in 2010 and run various projects working with disadvantaged young people aged between 14 and 24. These projects are run from two premises – one based in Sparkhill/Sparkbrook and the other in Small Heath.
One such project focuses on young people aged 14-16 who are not attending mainstream school. In addition to helping these students achieve formal qualifications, they also offer life skills courses to prepare them for life outside of the education system.
Many students referred to Blue River have behavioural issues and have been expelled from mainstream school, others are care leavers. Parents of some students referred have given testimonials regarding the all-round improvement in their children since attending Blue River. One parent said:
“I am very proud of the work Blue River have been doing with my son, since joining my son’s behaviour and aspiration has changed for the better”.
Blue River are currently focusing on getting a number of students through their GCSEs, hopefully leading to these young people going into further education or employment. But the work is not over once formal qualifications have been achieved. Extra support is given to learners as they progress to the next stage in their lives.
Blue River also works with 17-24 year olds, running a variety of projects ranging from employability skills courses to actual work experience.
For information on Blue River and their referral process, please visit the website www.blueriver.org.uk or telephone 0121 766 7981.