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Bedfordshire Freemasons Support 'Youthscape' Charity



Around 450 young people in Luton who are at risk of disengaging from their education will receive support to get back to their studies, thanks to a grant from Bedfordshire Freemasons to local charity Youthscape.
The £60,000 grant will support Youthscape’s ‘Compass’ project, which delivers alternative educational provisions to young people in Luton school, Years 7-9, who are at risk of being disengaged from their education. This may be due to low aspirations and/or difficulties managing challenging emotions, setting goals, coping within the school environment, and engaging with mainstream education. The project will help those young people who are in Years 7-8 to identify, explore and manage emotions that may be leading to challenging behaviour. Young people in Year 9 will receive more intensive support around managing emotions, setting goals, raising aspirations, the importance of education, and taking responsibility for their future.
This funding will make a significant difference in the lives of these young people as it will empower them to make better decisions regarding their education, and to reconnect with it in a new way preceding their GCSE years. 
Research shows that young people who become NEET (not in education, employment, or training) are at increased risk of criminal exploitation, are more likely to abuse substances, and are at an increased risk of unemployment in the future. Early intervention is vital to change the trajectory of any young person who starts to disengage from school.
The ‘Compass’ project enables Youthscape to continue their mission of delivering excellent youth work which sees young people’s lives transformed. The project ensures that more young people remain in education throughout their GCSE years, promoting greater aspirations and goals.
The grant from Bedfordshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales.

Head of Luton Youth Work at Youthscape, Gemma Milligan, said:

“We’re very grateful to Bedfordshire Freemasons for their generous grant. Research shows that young people who disengage from school are at increased risk of criminal exploitation and of future unemployment. ‘Compass’ will support many students across Luton to raise their aspirations, adjust their perspectives around school, manage their emotions healthily, and set goals for the future.”

Steve Joyce from Bedfordshire Freemasons, said:

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to help Youthscape with their hugely important project working with young people at risk of missing out on schooling. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of education, and finding and getting them back to their studies can be life-changing.”

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