Emily’s Story

Emily had been out of education since Year 7 due to experiencing severe bullying at her school. An attempt was made to integrate Emily back into education previously but this fell through – due to these circumstances Emily was left with a negative view of education even though she loves learning.

Emily wanted to integrate onto a course at college, but because she had been out of school for so long and had not socialised with people her own age within this time, Emily was enrolled onto CXK’s Step Up programme.

Step Up gave Emily the opportunity to get used to being in a classroom environment and to socialise with people her own age. Emily engaged in a range of activities designed to settle her back into education.

Emily said, “I came to “Summer School” which gave me the opportunity to meet my future classmates and I was shocked that I made friends. I did find it hard being in a classroom at first, but I settled in quickly and started accepting feedback from teachers and support staff.

“I was really anxious at first and had a few meltdowns which I found hard to calm down from, but I built a good relationship with my Personal Development Coach which means that I can talk to someone before I get so anxious.

“My class as a safe place to learn and I feel like I could speak to a member of staff if I did have an issue now. I’ve never felt that way in education before.”

Emily enjoys how interactive her lessons are and has made great progress, particularly in English. Emily is now able to identify vowels and she has made good improvement writing in full sentences.

Emily said, “My mental health was really bad before starting at Harlow College. But now it’s amazing.”

CXK’s Step Up is a bespoke training programme to engage and support NEET (not in education, employment or training) 16-24 year olds in Kent and Medway, East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock and Southend. The programme is designed to support their personal development and/or to help in preparing them to move on to an apprenticeship, traineeship, further education, or work

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the programme looks to address the rising number of 16-24 year olds claiming out of work benefits as a result of the pandemic.

About the European Social Fund

The project is receiving £2m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.  For more information visit: England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds.

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