The Step Up To Serve campaign aims to double the number of young people taking part in social action by 2020. It is a campaign which has cross party backing and The Prince of Wales as its patron. This week it is celebrating #iwill week, encouraging organisations across the country to encourage their young people to take part in social action activities.
UnLtd – the foundation for social entrepreneurs, has pledged its support through its Start Something Social programme. The programme is the first of its kind embedding social entrepreneurship into the curriculum, giving out £30,000 to school kids to set up their own social projects and social enterprises.
Adam Harrington, a student at Redcar Academy in Teeside, has been awarded a grant from UnLtd to start his own social enterprise venture which aims to promote social inclusion by engaging with elderly residents in the local community.
Adam who has always struggled with academic work in school due to having learning difficulties (dyslexia and dyscalculia), was introduced to the Start Something Social project with UnLtd when they visited school at the beginning of the year.
The project offers young people the opportunity to bid for funding to start their own social enterprise. Adam along with other students at Redcar Academy was initially introduced to the concept of social enterprise as ‘businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances or the environment’ and was shown examples of such enterprises from coffee shops and leisure centres to banks and bus companies. Adam soon caught on to the notion that by reinvesting profits back into their business and local communities social enterprises are changing the world for the better.
Having come up with the idea of a film club for lonely OAPs, Adam was invited to a bootcamp event hosted by UnLtd at the Riverside Stadium where he had the opportunity to pitch his social enterprise idea to a panel of judges and bid for funding, his idea is called the Silver Screen Movie Club. The judges were blown away by Adam’s presentation skills and passion for his social enterprise venture; they commented on the amount of detail he had included in his pitch and on his enthusiasm to make a difference. One judge even provided Adam with a business card and instructed him to get back in touch once his venture was up and running.
Adam’s Mum commented “this has been a fantastic experience for Adam, as opportunities for him to experience academic success are rare due to his learning difficulties. Redcar Academy is great at working in partnership with external organisations and businesses to ensure everyone has the chance to be successful. Since engaging with UnLtd Adam’s confidence has really grown and the experience has uncovered a true entrepreneurial flair.”
Adam plans to launch the Silver Screen movie club early in the New Year and it will run on a fortnightly basis, every other Monday, from 4pm. Entry to watch an old movie on the big screen will be completely free and he plans to serve refreshments during an interval for a minimal charge, which he has calculated will be just enough to keep his not for profit business afloat.
Louise Liddle, Schools Project Manager at UnLtd commented: “This is a great opportunity for young people to learn about social action through doing – by creating a venture they think is needed in their community. We’re delighted with the forward thinking schools that have come on board and have been able to use our toolkits successfully in their curriculum.”
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Principal: Mrs Angela Sweeten
Redcar Academy, Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, TS10 4AB
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