ESFA Training Grant aids in supporting organisations that work relentlessly for empowering less privileged individuals into employment and further education. Catering to the vulnerable individuals and communities at large, the grant aims at productively reintegrating them back into society.
Springboard Chippenham, a charity based out of North Wiltshire, supports preschool children and their families who are differently abled and have special educational needs. Surrounded by expert staff who specialize in any medical or developmental condition of the child, the charity provides personal attention to each child.
Handpicking the staff is integral to the service provided. Hence the project offers 6 volunteer placements at Springboard. Each volunteer will have an interview, induction, a work experienced based placement, support, coaching and mentoring to ease them into a new role and lend them more confidence while they take up the responsibility.
The project aims to support parents, mainly female carers, back into employment after taking a career break to raise their families. The skills acquired can help them in long run, even when they decide to change their professional course.
Beth is a recent addition to the Springboard family since July 2021. Having two of her own children with SEND, she started her journey as a volunteer with Springboard. Resuming work was a challenge for her due to the additional care her children demanded.
The ESFA grants programme allowed her to gain experience and knowledge from a dedicated team at Springboard. Their support and encouragement gave her the confidence to begin online training alongside volunteering to enable her to gain employment, all while working with children with SEND in the future, which was always her dream job!
As Beth puts it, “Without opportunities like the ESFA grants programme, and places like Springboard who are willing to welcome volunteers as part of the team and pass on their extensive knowledge, I would never have had the wonderful experiences I have with both the staff and the children at Springboard. I would have struggled to find the confidence to return to education or know the best places to find the courses I need to study. I am so grateful to both for giving me the opportunity to take steps towards eventual employment in a role I feel so passionately about.”
So far Springboard has enrolled 8 participants into the programme- 5 female carers and other young adults with disabilities.