Essential life skills

The Department for Education has announced a new 2-year essential life skills programme for opportunity areas, worth £22 million. The programme will allow 5 to 18-year-olds to participate in regular activities outside school, which will help them to develop personal skills and enable them to take part in sport, arts, culture, volunteering and social action projects.

The Doncaster OA has been allocated approximately £2.75 million, which will be spent over the 2 years of the Essential Life Skills programme.

Young people will have access to free extra-curricular activities and healthy meals over the summer holidays, including competitive sport, cooking classes and outdoor pursuits. The programme will help broaden young people’s horizons, giving them the opportunity develop essential life skills in leadership and teamwork, as well as helping them to build character, resilience and confidence so they can become successful adults.

The funding includes £550,000 to pay for a programme of summer activities in 2018 and 2019, and a £450,000 fund for local voluntary and community groups to support young people in Doncaster to develop additional skills through out-of-school activities from September.

The summer activities are free for 5- to 18-year-olds and include boxing, cycling, football, baking, nature trails and stop motion animation classes. From September, schools will be able to access community programmes through The Princes Trust, drama and arts classes through Doncaster Arts, sports through organisations like the Jamie McDonnell Fight for Good CIC (Community Interest Company), and business and entrepreneurial skills workshops.

The summer projects will be run by EXPECT Youth, Doncaster’s youth alliance, which works closely with the OA programme by delivering projects for the most vulnerable in the borough.

The essential life skills we will seek to develop include, but are not limited to:

  1. Resilience, perseverance and persistence
  2. Hard work, self-control, discipline and good time keeping
  3. Self-confidence, leadership and team work
  4. Honesty, integrity and engaged citizenship
  5. Attitude, respect and empathy
  6. Curiosity and problem solving