St Stephen's and Hull FC provide boost to students

Hull FC is able to help more young students focus on education thanks to a further year’s commitment from St Stephen’s to fund the programme.

Hull FC’s Engage programme is an eight-week initiative that uses sport as a mechanism to support a rise in attainment across hard to engage students between 11 and 16. Since the programme kicked off in 2012, the results have been astonishing. Now in its fifth year, the initiative has helped more than 100 school pupils from 12 local secondary schools.

Last year, 36 out of the 39 students at Andrew Marvell school who completed the course said they would like to complete the course again, whilst 29 left the programme with improved confidence. Teacher Kerry Taylor from Andrew Marvell school said: “The education offer was varied, interesting and gave the students another reason to come to school.”

The initiative teaches young students valuable skills such as confidence, communication, self-management and physical education, as well as numeracy and literacy to help encourage and motivate students back to education.

Jim Harris, St Stephens Centre Manager, said: “The Hull FC Community Foundation are doing amazing work with young people in the local community and we are very happy to be part of that. So far the programme has helped many young students in such a positive way and we hope that continues well in to the future. We are delighted to be able to re-commit to this programme.”

James Price from Hull FC said: “Thanks to the support from St Stephen’s and British Land we now have the facilities to help more children and to tailor the programmes to the individuals, something which has been very important to us this year.

“Over the year we have yet again seen how the programme can support young people in our schools to develop and progress through the power of sport.”

The programme is also available to students at Fountain House, which accommodates students who have previously been expelled from their first choice of school. Liam Cunningham, Engage Programme Leader, explained: “Once the students got involved in the sports, they really engaged and bought into the course. This is a great example of how sport can act as a hook to focus young people.”

A student from Fountain House said: “The course made us realise how much our behaviour really matters and why we should respect other people. The biggest thing I learnt is that being a leader is not just about sport but it is something that I can focus on when back at Fountain House and make a really good effort to complete my work.”

Attendance was a key success at Fountain House, which usually has low numbers attending school. Each session had over 70% of students attend, who were all very positive about the sessions.

The Engage programme is an ideal fit with St Stephen’s, which has youth engagement at the centre of its community activities as it seeks to raise the educational and work-based prospects of youngsters in the Hull and Humber region.

The investment by St Stephen’s will be used to fund staff costs in delivering the programme and the development of resources to support its delivery. St Stephen’s management team has also committed to support any of the centre’s employees, and those working for businesses operating in the centre, who wish to volunteer their time and skills to help deliver the project. 


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