Leicestershire County Council grant helps disadvantaged young people gain sustainability skills

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SHIRE Community Grant Enables New Learning Opportunities for Disadvantaged Young People in Leicestershire

Date: 14 October 2016

The Sustainable Land Trust has been awarded £9,900 by Leicestershire County Council’s SHIRE Community Grants programme to create a classroom, workshop and woodland study centre, trebling its capacity to provide alternative education for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Leicestershire.

The grant will enable the Sustainable Land Trust to install a field classroom and workshop in the barn at their site in Burrough-on-the-Hill, near Melton Mowbray. These facilities will be fully stocked with tools, kitchen and laboratory equipment, as well as providing a meeting hub, communal lunch area and study space for young people who have been excluded from mainstream education, and people with learning difficulties.

The money will also contribute to a ‘Bodger’s Camp’ woodland study area which, with the classroom and workshop, will enable young learners and vulnerable adults to gain practical skills and work experience in rural and heritage crafts, including green woodworking, game keeping, land management, horticulture and permaculture.

Kate Hiseman, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Land Trust, said:

“We are absolutely over the moon that the SHIRE Community Grants programme has chosen to support the Sustainable Land Trust, allowing us to expand our facilities.

“In the UK, 31 children are permanently excluded every school day. Over half of these have special educational needs, while children that qualify for free school meals are four times more likely to be excluded. These are young people who already face huge disadvantage, running the risk of further disengagement and reduced opportunities for employment further down the line.

“Thanks to SHIRE Community Grants we can now increase the number of alternative education places available at the Sustainable Land Trust from 14 per week to 43 per week. This trebles our capacity to provide positive and inspiring interventions for young people at a challenging time, fostering self-reliance and supporting them get their futures back on track.”

Councillor Pam Posnett, the county council’s cabinet member for communities, said:

“I am pleased to support the expansion of this important project through the SHIRE community grant.

“Not all young people thrive in the classroom and this grant gives them a real opportunity to obtain skills that can lead to further education courses and employment. Through this, we hope the lives of many young people in the region can be positively changed.”

**ENDS**

Press enquiries and interviews: Jo Thomas, Communications Manager, Email: jthomas@sltrust.org.uk,
Tel: 01664 400 150 or 07491 069 445 (out of hours).

Sustainable Land Trust: The Sustainable Land Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers sustainable lives and landscapes by fostering the connections between individuals, communities and the natural environment. We are working for a world that recognises the many benefits that ecosystems provide freely for society, with the knowledge, skills and confidence to conserve them for future generations.

Since March 2015, the Sustainable Land Trust has provided alternative education placements for children aged 11 – 16 who have been excluded or disengaged from school, and work experience for adults with learning difficulties. As well as permaculture, rural and heritage crafts, we also offer City & Guilds qualifications in Skills for Working Life (Land-based) and Functional Skills English, Maths and ICT.

Visit www.sltrust.org.uk for more information about the Sustainable Land Trust, or contact Jo Thomas (above).

SHIRE Community Grants programme: The SHIRE Community Grants programme is a funding stream delivering Leicestershire County Council’s Communities Strategy. The council has dedicated £420,000 to this funding stream in 2016/17, to enable voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver community-based projects, services and activities which directly benefit the most vulnerable people in Leicestershire.
Visit www.leicestershireccommunities.org.uk/grants for more information.