Tell us what you do
At Nacro, the crime reduction charity, we are dedicated to reducing crime and reoffending in communities across England and Wales. We design and deliver programmes that equip people with the skills, advice, attitude and support they need to move their lives on and move away from crime. In Sandwell we have been providing young people with the skills they need to get back into education, training or employment for 20 years. We work with 14 schools in the local borough and support young people aged between 14 -19 years of age.
What is your proudest achievement?
In 2014 Nacro’s education centres were rated as “Good” (Grade 2) by Ofsted in recognition of the support and care that learner’s receive at Nacro. The staff in Sandwell are all very proud each time a young person who they have worked with gets back into education, training or employment. We are always very proud of our young people, no matter how small the achievement may be, this could be their first step in a positive direction that they have so far achieved in their lives.
Just one example, is a young man who achieved an NVQ2 in Motor Vehicle Maintenance went onto manage his own garage (Shaf’s MOT & Service Centre Oldbury). He has allowed many of our young people to gain work experience and went onto actually employing three of our young people through the Nacro Apprenticeship programme.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We don’t feel we have linked up enough with SCVO but we are keen to do so more in the future. We understand the importance of working in partnership with local organisations to improve outcomes for the clients we work with.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
There are two valuable lessons which stand out. Firstly, never assume anything, and secondly, one size doesn’t fit all. People are very diverse, and as a result it is important to cater for their individual needs. It is important not to assume that one learning strategy will work for everyone. It is also worth noting that employers are very supportive of the work we do. They understand that our work increases the number of young people who have the skills and training they are looking for. We work closely with employers and they help us to provide work experience and employment opportunities to young people.
What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Due to budget constraints we have had to stop running many activity sessions, such as go-karting and cycling, but we would like these to start up again as soon as is possible. These sessions mostly took place out of office hours and were a useful way of reaching some of the most vulnerable groups. In terms of the challenges, we are judged in the same way as mainstream educational providers. As a result, we have to work very hard to maintain the quality and diversity of our work. It is about making sure we keep focused on our aims and vision ensuring that we target the most vulnerable in society.
How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
In the future, SCVO can certainly support our organisation by sending us information about events which will help us form partnerships with other organisations. This could help us to secure work placements and other services for our young people. SCVO could also help us to identify volunteers and to find out about funding opportunities.
For more information please contact 0121 552 9589 or visit www.nacro.org.uk