Norfolk chef backs schools to launch charity to help children and families
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
Nine schools around a Norfolk town have created a new charitable trust raising funds to help children and families and break the cycle of aspirational disadvantage.
The Aylsham Cluster Trust of schools has launched The Aylsham Community Trust (Families) with award-winning Norfolk chef Charlie Hodson as its patron.
The charity is looking to raise funds to provide additional social, emotional, mental health and well-being support across the trust schools both during and outside of the school day, to both children and their families.
MORE: New learning hub to help vulnerable children transition to high schoolThey also want to continue and extend the number of courses available through their adult learning programme, which inspires families to ‘get back into learning’. These range from beginner’s sign language, creative writing, conversational French and GCSE maths.
Duncan Spalding, chair of the Aylsham Cluster Trust and executive headteacher of Aylsham Learning Federation, said: “We want to continue to create a community where schools, families and partners work together to support mental health, reduce barriers to learning, raise aspirations and encourage life-long learning.”
Jo Tuttle, chair of the new charity, said: “The frustrations felt by schools working with children, young people and families around mental health is real. Whilst we appreciate services are in place, these can involve long waiting times and with so many organisations doing different things, don’t always look at the link between working with families and the community and the impact this can have.”
MORE: Plan to improve services for children with special educational needs revealedMr Hodson, a passionate advocate for Norfolk food and drink, who also teamed up with farmers to produce educational videos to bringing countryside food knowledge to families during lockdown, already has a connection to the local community
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He is keen to support the impact the charity hopes to have on both the young people and the families in the area.
“After battling mental health most of my life and learning to manage this, I am deeply honoured and privileged to be asked to be a patron,” he said.
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“Early support for young people and their families can make a huge difference to their lives and I’m excited by the prospect of a community support structure such as this.”
TACT (Families) hopes to raise enough funds to support a number of programmes across the next year and to allow them to grow the charity over the coming years. To find out more or offer support email firstname.lastname@example.org