Derby County Community Trust (DCCT) today (Tuesday 25th September) launched ‘This is Derby – Derby’s Essential Life Skills Project’. The innovative and exciting collaboration was officially launched by Cllr Evonne Williams at the Toyota Suite, Pride Park Stadium, with presentations on the project’s overarching aims and the opportunity to meet delivery staff and co-ordinators from each area.

In July a grant of £1m was awarded the Community Trust to support a range of extra-curricular activities aimed at children and young people aged 5-18 years old. The funded activities will use arts, culture, sport and leisure to develop non-cognitive abilities, collectively named ‘essential life skills’.

Eligible activities will be open to all but target children from vulnerable groups. These could include children or young people eligible for free school meals, young people in alternative provision, looked after children, young carers and children and young people with special education needs and disabilities.

The funding for the grant was awarded to Derby via the Department for Education and the allocation is being managed through the Broader Horizons sub-group of the Derby Opportunity Area Board.

DCCT will act as the lead organisation within a partnership of culture and leisure providers across the City. The partnership compromises of DCCT, Artcore, Baby People, Derby Theatre, Déda, Derby Museums, East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network, Sinfonia Viva, QUAD, Derby and Derbyshire Music Partnership and Derby City Sports Forum.

The project aims to develop 10 hubs within priority communities and will work with all the schools within those hubs. The schools will host some of the activities as well as encouraging engagement and supporting referrals of young people. The aim is to provide 12 hours of delivery each week in each hub for 50 weeks of the year with the hope that it will build capacity in the hub localities to maintain the provision beyond the 12 months of the grant.

Nadhim Zahawi, Children and Families Minister said:

“The Opportunity Area programme is about investing in young people from disadvantaged areas, giving them the support and experiences that will broaden their horizons and give them the confidence to fulfil their ambitions, whatever they may be.

“This £1million will provide a range of activities across Derby that will help young people learn about leadership, teamwork and build the resilience that will help them succeed in education, work and later life.”

Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to secure this funding from Government. The bid from Derby County Community Trust was excellent and I’m really looking forward to seeing the plans develop amongst the whole partnership. When we work together we can achieve great things and produce some fantastic outcomes for the children of the city.”

Simon Carnall DCCT said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be entrusted with the responsibility for delivering against the Essential Life Skills criteria as part of the wider Opportunity Area programme in Derby. As an organisation, we are incredibly excited to be working collaboratively and innovatively with the Derby Cultural Education Partnership (DCEP) and other key partners across the City.

“Bringing together Arts, Culture, Leisure and Sport to develop a hub model, we believe, will not only broaden young people’s horizons but will in turn, contribute significantly to the our collective ambition of “closing the gap.“