It’s back to school for Saints Foundation as we continue our work in secondary schools across Southampton.
This year, we have increased our reach. With three new recruits, we will now work in eight schools in the city full time.
Last school year, we worked in six secondary schools with members of staff spending four days a week working with students who have become disengaged from the traditional school environment.
The need for this project is stark. Two in 10 young people feel they will amount to nothing no matter how hard they try. Along with this, one in 12 5-19-year-olds have an emotional mental health disorder. And these issues are not equal. For those students from a lower socio-economic background, these issues are compounded – something teachers spot as well with 89% of them thinking that disadvantaged students are being left behind in school.
This is where our Community Champions step in. They harness the power and the passion of the club to engage with students, mentoring and providing sporting and non-sporting activities both in and out of school hours. This can lead students to gaining a different perspective on school life and the results speak for themselves.
After working with a Community Champion, 54% of young people increased their emotional wellbeing score, with this rising to 73% for those young people whose initial score was very low originally. They have also allowed to students to broaden their horizons with 78% of them trying something new, which can lead to a world of different possibilities.
It’s not just students who are benefiting from our impact in schools. All of our teachers, who were surveyed, think that the project has a positive impact on students with 81% of them thinking the champions have a large positive impact on students’ self-esteem.