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One year on: Spear North Kensington makes its mark in the local community

One year after introducing the Spear Programme in the heart of the local community impacted by the tragedy of the Grenfell fire, Spear North Kensington* is making positive waves.

 

Spear North Kensington was launched in March 2019, in partnership with the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, whose generous financial support and role in introducing the team to other local organisations and partners laid important foundations to get this much-needed programme off the ground.

 

Since then, 89 young people have been supported by Spear North Kensington with a holistic set of work-readiness skills. Of the first group of young people who completed the Spear Programme almost a year ago, an impressive 81% are in work or education a year later.

 

Ingrid Follert, Spear North Kensington’s Centre Manager, praised the collective impact of working alongside other organisations to bring about significant change in the local community.

 

She said,

‘Pioneering a Spear centre right next to Grenfell Tower has been the most fulfilling and enriching experience of my five years with Resurgo. Spear North Kensington has brought about significant change in the community and has provided a safe and encouraging space for both young people and referrers to network and connect. We are excited to start our second year here, as we work in partnership with other fantastic organisations to bring about lasting social transformation in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.’

 

Adefunke Raji, Work Coach at North Kensington’s Jobcentreplus, praised the Spear Programme’s contribution to young people’s lives, saying, ‘the Spear Programme is contributing immensely to the growth and confidence of our young men and women. Their lives are being touched and changed for the better. I spoke to a young man after completing his mock interview; he stated how Spear has transformed him from a very timid shy young man, to a self-confident man who is able to express himself. Our young people are being empowered by Spear Programme to be able to face the labour market with all the skills they need to succeed in gaining sustainable employment.

 

Stojancho completed the Spear Programme in North Kensington in October. He said of his experience:

‘The Spear Programme helped me with my confidence to network well with other people, which turned out to be essential for pursuing my dream of working with horses. With the tools I’d learnt on Spear, I was able to speak confidently with a guest at our Spear Celebration evening, who put me in touch with the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre.

My Spear coaches coached me through my phone interview and application form, and I was offered a week of work experience at the Pony Centre. Now, I have a full apprenticeship with them, pursuing my dream of animal care and working with horses. That wouldn’t have been possible without the Spear Programme’s coaching and support.’

 

*Spear North Kensington operates in association with HTB Dalgarno Way and partners with the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, who generously co-fund the centre.

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