MAR 01] COVENTRY AREA COORDINATION NEWS
Kids Get Helping Hand
workers helping under-achieving African-Caribbean youngsters in
Coventry in the first scheme of its kind in the country have
been so successful that their posts have been made permanent.
Hay and John Robinson, both 'Coventry Kids' and former pupils at
Whitley Abbey School, were initially employed as Personal
Advisers on a unique three-year pilot scheme, but will be kept
on as part of the Connexions Service.
started in October as part of the Young, Gifted and Educated
Project and have already built a caseload of twenty disaffected
youngsters aged 13-16.
are dealing with young under-achieving black kids who have
either been excluded from school, who are not attending school
or at risk of being excluded.
were referred to us by parents, families, teachers, education
officers, careers advisers, social services, members of the
community and in one case by a further education college.
offer one-to-one mentoring, because they often just need
someone to listen to them, someone who is not related to them
and not a teacher.
unburden themselves to us about issues at home and at school
and we then try to support them and help them to overcome any
Annette and John are concerned that cases are not being referred
to them early enough.
have to get across the message that it makes our job harder if
a youngster has reached the point where he/she is excluded
are warning signs that people notice and do nothing about, but
we need to be contacted at a much earlier stage so that we can
have the maximum impact.
have been well received in the schools and we are definitely
making progress. As our service becomes more widely known we
expect to receive many more referrals and at some point in the
future it might be necessary to try to get funding to increase
and John are now seeking the use of a room in which to hold
mentoring sessions. Annette said:
need to speak to disaffected youngsters away from their school
or home environment; a youth club room, or some other similar
venue, preferably for daytime use, would be ideal.
are determined to make this project work for Coventry's young
is the first African-Caribbean pilot scheme in the country as
part of Connexions Service, the government's strategy for the
two Personal Advisers are operating with guidance from the
African Caribbean Community Steering Group, who are working in
partnership with Quality Careers Service with additional support
from Area Co-ordination.