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Norfolk chef backs schools to launch charity to help children and families

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 October 2020

Aylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary; and Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary; and Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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.

Aylsham High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAylsham High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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.

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They 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.

Aylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families); and Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families); and Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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.”

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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.”

Aylsham High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAylsham High School. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Mr 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

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.

Aylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary; and Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families). Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAylsham Cluster Trust of schools launch TACT (families) supporting families in the Aylsham area. From left, Duncan Spalding, executive head teacher of Aylsham Learning Federation; Charlie Hodson, TACT (families) patron; Imran Khan, trustee of TACT (families) and head teacher of Buxton Primary; and Jo Tuttle, chairman of TACT (families). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“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 jtuttle@aylshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk


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