Finalist Christian New Media Awards 2014 - Innovative Use of New Media In Outreach

A Mind Apart Prove Alternative Education Can Work

Sheffield based Social Enterprise and alternative arts educational provider finished 2013 in style receiving a Future Leaders of Social Enterprise, Student development award. Going into 2014 they have already got plans to expand the work they are doing and both regionally and nationally.

Working with young people not in education, employment and training (NEET’s), the staff at A Mind Apart have proved that these young people are not to be forgotten and that enterprise and the arts is still an important tool in education. The company deliver performing arts activities across South Yorkshire for children and young people from the ages of 5 upwards. Specialising in working with students not engaging with the education system, and individuals from vulnerable backgrounds, they have worked with, coached and progressed a range of students back into education both in and out of the arts sector.
Working with a range of partners throughout the city, they are one of Sheffield’s providers for alternative educational provision, offering qualifications in Social Enterprise and The Arts. The company use performing arts to engage and develop individuals through short courses, weekly sessions and creative coaching. Provision ranges from professional training in performing arts to using performance techniques as a tool to develop employability and social skills. Project Manager, Natasha McGowan highlights the ethos of A Mind Apart;

“We believe that it is vital for children and young people to be able to dream. We encourage this within all we do with the aim to lift their aspirations. From our experience, once a young person finds this, they always achieve with us and beyond.”

Thanks to further funding from the Lifelong Learning Skills and Communities, Part of Sheffield City Council, A Mind Apart is continuing this provision in 2014 with plans to develop a range of their services throughout South Yorkshire and nationally. In 2013 they also benefitted from funding from the EU Youth in Action Programme, which enabled them to bring international volunteers from Brazil and Portugal to the UK, and work with their students and schools in Sheffield and Barnsley around culture and diversity.

The award has been presented by The Real Ideas Organisation, who promote and manage the SFEDI awarded Social Enterprise Qualification. Jodie Marshall, Managing Director said: “We are very proud of our young people and the things that they achieve with us. Many of the individuals we work with have been out of school for many years or do not attend regularly. We have a very devoted team and try our best to go the extra mile for our students. It is a privilege to receive such an award and to be recognised for our hard work with a complex group of students.

A Mind Apart are now taking referrals for their Moving Forward Programme (Funded by Lifelong Learning Skills and Communities, Part of Sheffield City Council) for young people ages 16-19 Not in Education, Employment or Training. Please contact 0114 2321172 for further details.

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