ART is addressing priority areas including Mental Health support; reducing social isolation; practical support (transport provision); improving accessibility (offering a timetable of activities across a range of sites); mentoring to manage health and wellbeing; addressing wider determinants of health; and providing volunteer opportunities. ART provides varied practical training in rural skills, for this project we will deliver a combined introductory course for those who find it difficult to leave the safety of their own homes, this will provide an overview of woodland skills and horticulture courses so participants can experience the joys of growing and the natural environment. This structure provides mentoring support from a qualified MH practitioner for a unique holistic approach to improving confidence, motivation, health and wellbeing, mental health and removes barriers for progression.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
This training is a steppingstone for people who have been disadvantaged and isolated for most of their lives, to try out short courses in a variety of rual skills (woodland, horticulture, conservation and the environment, animal care, construction and carpentry) whilst building up the confidence and knowledge to be able to pursue a longer, higher academic course, leading to a qualification. In fact, last year 70% of our participants went on to some sort of further education. This project allows people to come along and try a day with us which helps them to feel confortable, less anxious and more confident to take part in a full course where they can achieve a qualification. We also provide a mentor as 70% of new participants need to improve mental health and learn coping strategies as for some their last education experience was a bad one, being bullied or feeling lonely in a school environment. We are unique in our relaxed approach to learning where every day counts!
Steps to get it done:
This year ART has addressed some significant safeguarding issues and directly saved lives, may of our participants tell us that if it wasn't for the projects we run for them they would have taken their own lives. We get successful outcomes for 85% of all participants (into employment, education and training) and more go into work experience and voluntary roles. Everyone who comes to ART is part of a family and a friendship group, we support people before and after they come to ART, offering encouragement before enrolment and follow up calls to make sure everyone is on track to meet their loner term goals. We love this project and we hope you do to! Follow us on facebook, twitter and if you know of someone we might be able to support please refer them!
About the space
ART Head Office (with access to various rural training sites across Essex)
Essex County Council