Our staff nurture our children from the age of 2-19 years. Then what?
There is little effective provision for them and it is easy for them to lose their direction and confidence that has been so carefully given to them over their years at FAWS. Our society is made up of scientists and bankers and astronauts and refuse collectors and librarians and artists and musicians and teachers and cooks and cleaners and taxi drivers and printers and designers and gardeners and shelf stackers and soldiers and engineers…everyone is valuable and everyone is needed. There is a place for every person and we need to ensure that our graduating students find their place.
Grow 19 launched as a pilot project in September 2018 with a grant from Awards for All. It is a post 19 provision that teaches land based skills – gardening, pruning, weeding, planting, nurturing and harvesting. It teaches basic functional skills – marketing the land-based skills, filling in forms and creating a CV. The young adults work in a cafe, taking orders, preparing meals, clearing, learning hygiene skills, taking money for the food. It gives our post 19er’s a sense of worth, building their self confidence and independence, giving them a “can-do” attitude. It finds them their place in society. It is brilliant! We hope to get statutory funding, but, like the fundraising we have to do for Five Acre Wood School, it too will require more funding along the way. We applied to Awards for All for £9,600.00 to help fund the pilot project and were delighted to receive the funding!
We work closely with Communigrow on Grow19. During the pilot project, students loved going to Communigrow and working with the staff and volunteers there. The students saw clearly the results of their work which gave wonderful feelings of satisfaction and a “job well done!” Click here to go to Communigrow’s Facebook page and see some of the amazing work they do.
Fast forward to September 2019 and Grow 19 is a recognised Further Education College for young learners (YLs) with SEND. There are 10 YLs on the project this first year and it will only grow as the years go by. Firmly established at the East Malling Community Centre in Chapman Way, the YLs are forging their path at Grow 19 – figuratively and literally! The site enables them to work in the woodland, on the grounds, in a classroom, in a fully equipped professional kitchen.
They are also gaining valuable work experience at Maidstone Borough Council, at the Royal British Legion Village and other wonderfully supportive local companies. If you might be able to offer work experience to one of the YLs – please do get in contact with us email@example.com
The reality is WE NEED MORE FUNDING! We need two mobile classrooms for the site at the East Malling Community Centre and, as we expand our YL numbers, we need more members of staff. If you can help….you know what to do!