Business Charity Awards: Project of the Year - Barnardo's with Saint Gobain UK for Future Place Academy/Building Hope

For a scheme or initiative, either in the UK or overseas, that has successfully worked with a UK charity to help its beneficiaries

The Future Place Academy
The Future Place Academy

What was the project?

On average, 40 per cent of care leavers aged 19 to 21 are not in education, employment or training. At the same time the construction industry needs 157,000 new recruits by 2021 in order to keep up with demand. Barnardo’s and the construction company Saint Gobain joined forces to develop the Future Place Academy, aiming to help 30 young people a year gain confidence and skills while addressing the skills shortages.

How was it done?

The academy supports care leavers through a 16-week course. They are able to work towards construction qualifications while also studying English and maths, and accessing holistic support using a model developed by Barnardo’s. Saint Gobain's employees fundraised the £200,000 needed to run the academy as well as helping to design the content of the course and providing materials, work experience and site visits.

Why did it win?

The academy exceeded all expectations in its first year, supporting 41 young people, 36 per cent above the initial target. A further 30 young people are due to enrol in March. Almost half (49 per cent) of the young people have secured qualifications, while 44 per cent have secured positive outcomes such as employment.

What did the judges say?

"This project has practical and transformative outcomes for some of the most vulnerable young people," said Wanda Wyporska, executive director at the Equality Trust. "It is a wonderful programme, with a lot of potential."

Highly commended

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