The Berkeley Foundation, established and funded by the Berkeley Group and its staff, is investing £300,000 into a new bespoke youth leadership programme delivered by Groundwork London.
The 14-week programme will support over 260 disadvantaged young people in London and the South East of England who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), and aims to empower participants to make a positive difference in their community.
Groundwork London works with communities across the capital to transform people’s lives and the places they live. Recognised for its expertise in green space social action, the charity helps people gain confidence and skills, get into training and work and overcome significant challenges such as poverty, isolation, low skills and poor health.
76 young people from Hammersmith & Fulham, Barnet and Enfield have already participated in the leadership programme. The next cohort of young people will come from Hampshire.
The course curriculum incorporates leadership skills workshops and a social action project, empowering participants to give back to their community and engage with nature, often for the first time. It has been written in collaboration with schools, and will adapt and evolve as delivery continues.
Young people aged 16-19 will apply the skills they learn to local green spaces, using social action to improve their local environment and their own lives. They will also benefit from increased confidence and gain key employability skills, preparing them for careers in the green economy.
In addition to funding from the Foundation, Berkeley Group staff are volunteering their time to support the curriculum design, offer careers guidance and take part in pitch advisor panels.
Peter Fleet, Youth Development Manager at Groundwork London & Groundwork South commented:
"Groundwork is really excited to be working in partnership with the Berkeley Foundation. This year, our Leadership Programme will seek to engage young people across the capital and Hampshire from diverse areas and backgrounds. We are immensely grateful to the Berkeley Foundation for their support and for their recognition of the valuable work we undertake to improve the lives of young people and the communities in which they live."
Clare Maddison, Interim Head of Berkeley Foundation added:
“We want to ensure that young people are empowered to positively impact their own lives and the communities in which they live. Our new Strategic Partnership with Groundwork London offers a real opportunity to do just that – equipping young people with confidence and leadership skills, and preparing them for careers in the green economy. We’re really excited to maximise Berkeley’s skills, networks and expertise to add value to our partnership.”