“Enriching and empowering young lives through enterprise and technology“
Harrogate is a great town to live and work in with everything on your doorstep for business and pleasure. We’re reminded of this pretty much every year when the country votes for the happiest place to live in and Harrogate comes out in the top few; and of course the CNG Stadium is full of people proud to be part of Town.
But not every one in Harrogate is able to benefit from what it has to offer. 8% of children in Harrogate live in poverty and a child in North Yorkshire is three times more likely to be permanently excluded from mainstream education than a child in Leeds or Bradford. The income of a child’s parents and their access to education are key drivers in how successful that child will be.
For the past three years Veloheads have partnered with Harrogate Town in a bid to improve the lives of children in Harrogate who are permanently excluded from school or are at risk of becoming so. Veloheads offers vocational training programmes and delivers functional skills, like English and maths to these children. Whether our trainees are studying mechanics or construction with us, working with the person is at the heart of what we do. Many of our trainees arrive with low self esteem after years of struggling to get on at school. Our programme offers them a taste of success, the chance to learn skills and understand how to make money and live independent lives and be proud of themselves.
Our ethos is to invest in young lives as part of an investment in the future – everybody’s future. This approach requires a huge amount of effort, not least because we never set out to work with socially excluded children – we originally set up business as a bike workshop, but that’s another story. But we’re fortunate to have the support of Garry Plant and his team at Town who have helped make our project the success that it is today and who are committed to helping us drive further forward. Without Town’s support provided through strategic support, sign posting us to funding, introducing us to fantastic sponsors like CNG and making players available as role models for our trainees, we wouldn’t be able to say that our trainees have average attendance rates of 95% and that 100% of our leavers last year went on to education or employment. That isn’t bad for kids who’ve been booted out of school.
Proud To Be Town? We certainly should be!
Carl Nelson, CEO, Veloheads