Community Innovation Fund … Round 2!

We have four very exciting new projects in the pipeline but space for a few more!

We have re-opened the Community Innovation Fund for a second round looking for providers to deliver a CITYWIDE project and some LOCALITY projects. The deadline for both is 4pm Friday 7th June 2019. Find out more information here.

If you have any queries about the application form or would appreciate feedback about your project ideas we are holding an informal funding drop in session on Thursday 23rd May, 3-5pm at Marzanos (The Forum, Norwich) – come and say hello!

This fund looks for approaches that can encourage children and their families to have conversations about different types of jobs and think together about their skills, interests and future goals. Our intention is that more conversations take place and at an earlier age, with a focus on primary aged children and pupils in the early years of secondary school.

Norwich students help shape their future

Young people from Norwich learnt about social mobility by visiting their peers in Southend-on-Sea to discover how education is helping them fulfil their potential.

The group of 35 Norwich pupils, from Year 7 to Year 12, joined a ‘learning buddy’ in classes and took part in careers activities in Southend – an area that has made rapid progress in social mobility since 2016.

They also held discussions with students, teachers, support staff and council representatives when they visited Eastwood Academy, South Essex Further Education College and Southend Adult Community College.

Pupils will now present their learning to key stakeholders including headteachers and the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area (OA) Partnership Board to help them improve outcomes for young people in Norwich.

Tim Coulson, chair of the Norwich OA board, said: “The trip to Southend was designed by the Youth Board as part of their work to ensure local young people have a voice in the Opportunity Area programme and to bring back learning from an area that has achieved rapid progress in social mobility.

“Norwich OA schools and colleges identified students as young leaders from their school who would most benefit from the cultural and educational experiences and those who were passionate about making a difference in the lives of all young people in Norwich.”

Ryan Bedwell-Woods, member of the Norwich Opportunity Area Youth Board, said: “The Youth Board students have come away with lots of ideas of how to improve social mobility in Norwich to help them and future generations. I feel inspired that as young people in Norwich we can make a real difference to the lives of others in this way.”

Pupils learnt about Eastwood Academy’s Student Leadership Team and the responsibilities they take on within the school as part of the three-day trip from Wednesday March 20 to Friday March 22.

They met the Deputy and Vice Principals of South Essex FE college to understand more about how outcomes for disadvantaged students are championed across the college as well as hearing about the support students receive around future career pathways.

The pupils, from University Technical College Norwich, Open Academy, Notre Dame High School, The Hewett Academy, City of Norwich School and Sewell Park Academy, also met Community Relations and Consultation and Engagement officers from Southend-on-Sea Council to find out about its ambitions for the area and ‘Southend 2050’ – a public consultation about the kind of place people want Southend to be and what needs to be done to get there.

Students who helped create the ‘Norwich 2040 City Vision’ met with Southend’s Youth Mayor and Youth Council Chancellor to understand more about the ‘Southend 2050’ engagement programme and how young people have been involved.

They also visited London to explore the city and took group selfies in front of cultural spots, interesting architecture and places they would love to work in the future.  

Research shows that learning through arts and culture can have a positive impact on health, educational attainment and future employment and the pupils were given the opportunity to watch West End show Les Miserables as part of the experience to help raise their aspirations for the future.

Can you help NOA engage parents in conversations about education and future goals? New Community Innovation Fund launched …

We have set up a new Community Innovation Fund through NOA which aims to involve parents in conversations about education and future goals, ensure conversations about different types of careers and jobs start at an early age and support certain areas of Norwich where children may have few successful role models.

The Community Innovation Fund looks for organisations who can work with children and their families to facilitate these conversations.  We have organised an event on Wednesday 23rd January for organisations who are keen to find out more.  Please sign up via Eventbrite

The £160,000 fund is intended to fund a variety of different projects across the city and includes two distinct strands:

  1. Projects that deliver activities for children and their families (primary aged children and pupils in the early years of secondary school)
  2. Projects that offer technology and/or marketing solutions in Norwich to encourage children and their families to have these types of conversations

October. A chance to reflect on the first year.

October has been a month to reflect on what progress has been made in our first year as an Opportunity Area.  The delivery plan was published last year on 9th October, and since then our partnership board and thematic groups have created a programme to deliver against the targets sets for each of our  four priorities for Norwich.

Our Youth Board hosted a celebration event on 18th September to celebrate the work of local leaders and stakeholders from schools, colleges, business, the voluntary sector, and our local councils.  On 12th October Damien Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, visited Norwich to speak to students and tutors at Norwich City College, meet with the Partnership Board to discuss their strategy for the next two years, and speak to cornerstone employers about their contribution.  The following week our Youth Board was invited to represent the voice of young people in OAs at a national celebration in Westminster, as the DfE published two key documents as part of the day’s reflections on this first milestone: an independent evaluation of the implementation phase of the Opportunity Area programme, and a set of case studies from all 12 opportunity areas.

NFER’s evaluation identified that nationally the programme is ‘starting to develop a lasting legacy’ of positive collaboration. In Norwich we have seen evidence of this in some strong networks developing between schools and colleges, leading to some significant new school-led projects.