Sometimes you just need people who embrace what’s on offer, no questions asked. Step forward Harry Chivers…
Saints Foundation’s Community Champions programme runs in six schools across Southampton, and within those schools are a multitude of different programmes and initiatives on offer for students who need them.
Some students take part in one session. Some take part in a few. Harry Chivers, however, takes part in all of them.
“It all started when I was younger, and some of my older mates told me about Saints Foundation’s Kicks programme,” Harry said. “I turned up one week to join in, and ever since then I’ve attended every Foundation session I could.”
“The Foundation staff really know how to make every session fun, and it’s such a family environment. You never see anyone being left out, and there’s always something to engage in, whether it’s sport-related or not.”
Changing attitudes within school life can be challenging, but it is something Tristan Lury is relishing.
For him, taking pride in his work means making sure every student has a voice – no matter their background.
Tristan is a Saints Foundation Community Champion, working at Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, to deliver non-curricular activities and to help provide additional support for students who need it. It’s a role with many challenges, but this hasn’t stopped him from exploring new ways to bring his students together.
In May, he launched a group to promote the inclusion of LGBT students within school life. This looked at creating a safe space away from the harsh realities of school life, allowing them to express themselves within a comfortable environment.
“The main reason why we set this up was to provide a safe space for students to feel comfortable about themselves,” Tristan explained. “This year has been great to see a core group of students from all different backgrounds grow together.”
This week sees schools focus on anti-bullying across the country, with Saints Foundation running sessions in schools in and around the city. This is another topic close to Tristan’s heart.
He added: “Last month, we had 15 students take part in a full day’s training focused on anti-bullying. Two of the students from our inclusion club took part in this and it is exciting to hear their plans for projects in the future.”
“For me, it is all about providing a safe space for these students and empowering them to then go and speak out, raise awareness and combat bullying in all its forms.”
Making an impact was always Tristan’s goal, and his group is already seeing the benefits.
Speaking about their Community Champion, his students said: “This group allows us to be who we are and it is a comfort. Before we were really quiet and low but this has helped us feel more accepted.”
To find out more about our Community Champions and the other work of Saints Foundation, visit our website and sign up to the newsletter.
89% of teachers think that disadvantaged students are being left behind in school.
(The Prince’s Trust Results For Life Report 2017)
2 in 10 young people think that they will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try. (Macquarie Youth Index, 2018)
As a result of working with a Community Champion 35% of young people registered an increase in how satisfied they are with themselves, which is key to improving overall life satisfaction.
73% of young people stated that working with a Community Champion had made them feel more involved with their local community.