Step Further

'Stepping Further for Young People's Futures'

Step by Step needed a Youth Aspirations Fund (YAF) to run a project called 'Step Further'. The grant money was used to support the young people within their supported lodgings service. The project, Step Further, ensured the young candidates were able to gain accreditations to develop their skills ready for independent living and employment.
 
Step Further was split into two sections:
  • AQA Awards
  • Talent Grants
The cost of an AQA award and the training to accompany it was too much for Step by Step to fund alone. With the help of CMPP, Step by Step were able to allow multiple children the opportunity to develop their career potentials through courses at local colleges. In addition, Step by Step have been able to offer young people the opportunity to undertake AQA awards in all sorts of independent living skills including cooking, budgeting and the principles of holding a tenancy.
 
The talent grants allowed these young people to purchase the necessary equipment to excel on these courses whether in work or education. Furthermore, the separate Talent Grant would enable more young people to apply for and access the support and development of their own talents.
 
The money given by CMPP has helped support a network of young individuals who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to engage with such experiences. Step by Step highlighted the need for rewards alongside the improved work ethic and behaviours of the young people in question. This allowed for some of the grant to be used for rewards as a results of good work/achievements in college. Furthermore, young people have been able to get clothing for interviews and equipment to start college, integrating them into a wider community and setting them up for an independent life.

In total, 42 AQA awards were made. Each award has provided the young people with skills that have benefitted the community by making them more independent citizens. The majority of the young people have used the skills gained to find work and are now a working member of the community which has resulted in them having an independent income and therefore the youngsters are not claiming benefits. In addition, on completing the awards, the young people have improved self-esteem and confidence, again making them more employable. 

42 AQA award registrations were made Including the cost of training  for staff and hosts over 3 days

Aimee's Case Study

Aimee is living in a Supported Lodgings placement. Her biological mother left her when she was 3 and Aimee was put into foster care when she turned 14 and therefore has no family support. Aimee has both physical and mental health problems and has spent the last year in various jobs, from waitressing, cleaning, store assistant etc she presents very well but finds it difficult to manage her temper.  If she feels that she is being attacked by her customers or co-workers she will attack them verbally herself, this has resulted in Aimee losing her employment on the majority of occasions.

Aimee came to the conclusion that she is not ready to work a full time job. She inspires to be a fully trained hairdresser and had already completed her Level 1 in Hairdressing. Aimee has spent the last two months receiving counselling with Step by Step to address her issues. Following the ongoing counselling, she has enrolled onto a Level 2 Hairdressing course at Farnborough College of Technology to become a fully qualified hairdresser. As part of this course she was required to buy a hairdressing kit, costing £229.20. Choosing to give up work to follow her passion the only income Aimee received was her £57 per week from her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for food/toiletries. The kit is a necessity for completing the course and with no other financial help, Aimee is so grateful that the fund can help individuals like her.

Aimee quoted: “Thank you so much for paying for my kit, it is going to help me pass the course and with my future ambition of being a qualified hairdresser and without this fund I wouldn’t have been able to continue with the course.... pass and work in the local community”.

Karissa's Case Study

The talent grant has helped numerous young people on of which was Karissa. The money from the grant was used to purchase uniform and equipment needed for Karissa to succeed in a Food & Preparation course at college. The course aims to provide high quality training alongside real life experiences, to allow students to master their craft. Karissa now is a third of the way through the course and thoroughly enjoying learning the different aspects of catering from cooking to front of house. She is now hoping to work in a restaurant after the course.

Statement from Karissa: "Thank you so much for providing me with the uniform and equipment, I do appreciate it.... it has meant I could access the course and I look forward to working in a restaurant soon".

Great Work Step by Step!

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