Bondholders collaborate to deliver 'Essential Life Skills'

Bondholder Derby County Community Trust has launched a £1m project called ‘This Is Derby’ – an Essential Life Skills Programme which is funded by the Department for Education.

This innovative project will be delivered alongside Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership, with fellow Bondholders Déda, Derby Museums, Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre, and Sinfonia Viva, as well as Artcore, Baby People, East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network and Music Partnership taking a lead role for different areas.

The project is a collaboration between arts, culture and sport for 5-18 year olds in Derby, and was awarded the fund from the Department for Education as Derby is identified as an opportunity area, where educational attainment falls below the national average and alternative provision has been identified as impacting growth and learning.

‘This Is Derby’ will provide a minimum of 12 hours per week of extra-curricular activity in the nine most disadvantaged areas of the city: Abbey, Arboretum, Alvaston, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton, Mackworth and Sinfin. In addition, there will be a citywide SEND hub, and a digital hub which will be co-ordinated by QUAD and invite the young people involved to enhance their digital skills.

Simon Carnall, Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust, spoke at the launch event, saying: “We are all fantastic organisations delivering amazing work in the city. However, the statistics speak for themselves and even with all this work, we sit at 303rd out 324th for social mobility in the country.

“We need to change, work together and grow to make sure our young people are progressing, achieving and believing in themselves. ‘This Is Derby’ is new, exciting and collaborative, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running and work on ‘closing the gap’ for those young people whose lives are essentially determined by the postcode they were born in."

There will be the opportunity for young people to voice their ideas and opinions on the project in order to ensure it is youth led and caters for the needs of the city’s youth. The project will open up opportunities for children and young people aged 5-18 and their families, but is not wholly exclusive and will not be restricted by means testing.

Alix Manning-Jones, Derby’s Cultural Education Producer, who has spearheaded the bid along with Will Turner from Derby County Community Trust, said: “I’m really enjoying working in partnership with the Trust and other sports organisations that the arts aren’t seen to usually work alongside.

“We’re looking forward to the kick-off roadshows to go to the communities in which they’ll be delivering in October to really begin to see the project in action.”