Goals for Life

The ‘Goals for Life’ project extended opportunities outside the curriculum for young people with learning difficulties. It provided them with the opportunities to focus on a sport that many young people enjoy, allowing them to explore, in a safe environment, social activities with other young people. The project was funded by Big Lottery Awards for All and by the Eveson Charitable Trust.

This partnership project was led by Young Solutions, in collaboration with three special schools from across Worcestershire, and built on a previous project we piloted with Regency School in Worcester and volunteers from South Worcestershire Police Cadets. We were really pleased to again involve  the Police Cadets in ‘Goals for Life’.

This was primarily a football-based project for young people aged 11-17 who had learning difficulties, including those with:

  • low levels of educational attainment, some at pre-primary school levels;
  • ADHD;
  • attachment disorder,
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties;
  • looked after young people.

‘Goals for Life’ sessions was organised weekly in each participating school, one evening a week, for around 15 – 20 young people in each school. It also widen opportunities to mix, have contact and build friendships with their peers from non-special schools, and an integral part was football matches with non-special schools. The project therefore also challenged perceptions about young people with learning difficulties that existed amongst some students in mainstream schools.

One of the normal barriers to participation for the target young people is transport, as there is usually no transport for those staying to after-school clubs. A vital part of this project was the provision of transport and escorts to take young people home after the sessions, enabling them to take part.

Playing football was the main focus of the project, although the young advisors who helped design the project wanted climbing to be incorporated too. So the project not only offered access to play organised football, which is generally unavailable to young people with learning difficulties, but also offered some the chance to go climbing!

Keeping young people
safe and involved

in Worcestershire

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