A group of young people facing disadvantage in Sittingbourne will be mentored by world class athletes, as part of a transformational programme led by the charity of double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
'Get on Track' is the flagship programme of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which trains and develops world class athletes to empower young people facing disadvantage. This enables them to take control of their own futures and contribute positively within their local communities.
The community-based personal, social and emotional development programme started on 13th November and is being led by Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Olympic Triple Jumper. The sessions - run over a 14-month period - will help young people to realise the attitudes and behaviours needed to make long term positive life choices.
Last year the programme was delivered in 62 areas of the UK and over two thirds who took part were in employment, education or training within five months of starting the programme. A further 77% of young people felt more connected to their local community.
The charity works with young people who are most in need of help, including those who are long-term unemployed, care leavers, homeless people, young offenders, women at risk of sexual exploitation and those living within isolated communities. This project has been made possible as a result of funding from the European Skills Fund
Michelle Griffith Robinson told SFM News: "We believe as a charity that every young person - no matter what their background or current circumstances - has the potential to lead a positive life. I can't wait to start working with the young people on our Sittingbourne programme and being able to support them to reach their full potential. Our programmes are proven to have a lasting impact - the short-term successes achieved, such as moving into employment or achieving in education, only represent the start of their journey - it's also about empowering them to lead a healthy lifestyle, contribute within their communities and take others with them on their journey."
Elly Virgo, Senior Area Development Manager, told SFM News: "Our programmes are only ever delivered by Trust-trained athletes who have reached a world class level in their sport. This group are naturally high performing and proven to be exceptional leaders for change in young people and communities. We're really looking to working with Swale Community Leisure again to transform the lives of young people in Sittingbourne who need our support most."
Dave Harcourt, Executive Officer for Swale Community Leisure, told SFM News: "it is really exciting working with trusted partners to deliver a transformational programme that changes the lives of young people in Swale. The positive impact achieved cannot be underestimated, with so many young people benefiting from being mentored by individuals with a high performing mindset. Get on Track continues to be proven a success and we are proud to be part of it.
Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is a UK charity that believes every young person - no matter what their background or current circumstances - has the potential to lead a positive life. Our mentoring programmes follow a theory of change to unlock five key attitudes of (Focus, Resilience, Motivation, Confidence and Determination), which we see as the catalyst for behaviour change in young people facing disadvantage.