North East children’s charity launches project to support children out of education

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The Children’s Foundation have launched Roots to Health, which will help children out of education to gain a formal qualification. 

A Newcastle-based charity which works towards supporting children and families have launched a new project to help bring children back into education. 

The Children’s Foundation is addressing the attendance crisis in the region, with the hopes of bringing thousands of pupils back into an educational environment.

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According to figures from the Department for Education, the North East has the highest rate of absence in state-funded schools, with mental health issues such as anxiety negatively affecting the school attendance of children. 

The Children’s Foundations purpose is to improve the health and well-being of children and young people in the North East. 

The charity is launching a programme named ‘Roots to Health’ based on the charities allotment in Newcastle, which is specifically designed for children aged 14 to 16-year-old, allowing them to gain a formal education. 

Through the project, children gain access to individual youth work support and informal therapy. 

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Those who take part in the project are children who are not currently engaged in full-time education, who may face barriers that impact the likelihood of achieving formal qualifications within the traditional school setting. 

The ‘Roots to Health’ sessions run every week, and the participating child will be helped towards social interaction and practical skills, while acquiring a City & Guilds Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture which is an accredited qualification.

The Children's Foundation has launched 'Roots to Health', helping children to gain a formal qualification.The Children's Foundation has launched 'Roots to Health', helping children to gain a formal qualification.
The Children's Foundation has launched 'Roots to Health', helping children to gain a formal qualification.

Sean Soulsby, CEO of The Children’s Foundation said, “With recent reports showing that 1 in 5 children are now regularly missing school, projects like Roots to Health are needed more than ever. This is a problem on which the North East needs to collaborate to solve. The Children’s Foundation was created to address the needs of children and young people in the region, and this is a growing issue that needs to be taken seriously, but we can’t do it alone. 

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“Every day of school matters and our region has fallen behind others in terms of school attainment and health inequalities. Our children are getting a raw deal and tackling this issue is vital to Levelling Up. 

“Children and young people have told us how important it is to have a green space and a therapeutic horticulture offer and tell us that it is vital for good health and wellbeing. One of the young people involved in the project told us that if it hadn’t been for Roots to Health then they would have just been “sitting in his room”. That is some of the best feedback we can hear, and that particular young person has visibly grown in confidence over the time they have been with us. If our projects can make a difference for just a handful of the young people who are struggling to thrive in a traditional education setting, then it will be worth it.” 

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