More than 3,000 students across Kent and Medway have so far benefited from projects financed through the KMPF Covid Recovery Fund.

A total of 29 funded projects have taken place, reaching 3,308 students, 34% of whom were from KMPF target groups – including those who live in areas where there is a low level of participation in higher education.

Gavin Delf, KMPF Hub Manager, said, “The last 18 months have brought enormous challenges for young people, so we’re delighted that we have been able to support so many worthwhile projects with this funding. Most of the projects started in April, and some are still ongoing, so this figure is likely to continue to rise.”

The Covid Recovery Fund helped to pay for a work experience project for 150 students from the Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate. The 3-day project, which ran during June 2021, was organised to enable Year 10 students to engage in work experience despite not being able to go out on traditional placements due to the pandemic.

The students were able to gain experience in one of ten different industry sectors – from Art and Culture to Cookery and Environmental Impact to Social Media and Communications – working alongside industry professionals. All the projects were designed to in some way benefit the local community. For example, those who chose the Social Care pathway spent two days creating resources for elderly residents in a care home.

Head of Site Mr Samuel Wall said, “We wanted our students to have the opportunity to work with leading professionals. Working with the fund gave us the opportunity to present our students with a project that we have never attempted before on this scale. It was incredibly rewarding for our students and school community.”

Year 10 student Lydia, commented, “Work experience gave me the opportunity to explore management in the real world. It was a lot of fun working with a working professional.”

Local charity Dover Smart Project also benefited from the Covid Recovery Fund, enabling them to make and send out creative care packages for young carers across Kent and Medway. The packs were designed to get children and young people aged 5-18 thinking about what they might want to do as a career in the future, and how they would achieve it.

Laura Graham, CEO at Dover Smart Project, said: “During this crisis, we have been focused on the mental health and wellbeing of our young carers, and done this through creativity, which is what we do best.

“With funding from the KMPF Covid Recovery Fund, we have been able to send our young carers weekly creative care packages. This has ensured they still feel connected to us at this time of crisis and has increased their wellbeing and let them know we are still there for them.”

The KMPF Recovery Fund also supported the Education Business Partnership (EBP) to run an Employability Programme with several schools in Kent.

Students received guidance regarding training pathways, future options and essential skills as well as sessions focusing on the workplace. Over the course of the programme, students took part in 6 hours’ worth of interactive workshops such as CVs, Essential Skills, The Interview Day, Interview Techniques and a sector-specific workshop led by a healthcare professional.

89% of students felt that the day had helped them to decide on their future aspirations and how to get there.

For more information about the Covid Recovery Fund, please get in touch.

Lucy King

4 Jan 2022

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