Supporting Local Communities
We share our skills and expertise to benefit not only the people we directly educate and care for, but also those in the wider communities in which we operate. Beyond the services we provide, we’re committed to adding value for our stakeholders through initiatives such as:
- Hosting autism awareness sessions at local mainstream schools to educate teaching staff and local authority colleagues as well as parents and carers.
- Circulating regular help sheets offering advice to parents, carers and local authorities on various subjects relating to autism, and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
- Running local events such as summer festivals and open days, demonstrating our passion and commitment to integrating with the local community and raising awareness.
- Supporting neighbouring schools – for example, through our sponsorship of Kids Safe packs, which educate and advise children to stay mindful and safe through a range of games and activities.
- Raising money for local and national charities throughout the year to benefit those in need.
- Organising an annual donation of Christmas gifts to local children’s hospitals.
- Collaborating with local businesses to enhance the life experiences of those we support.
- Recognising people who are making a real difference, as well as celebrating the achievements of individuals with autism and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
To find out more about how we’re committed to being a responsible company, please contact us.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is an amazing programme for young people between the ages of 14 and 24. It challenges them, empowers them and supports them through a host of life-changing experiences – everything from volunteering in the community and developing physical skills to heading off on exciting expeditions both in this country and abroad.
With so many incredible opportunities available through the DofE, we help as many of our young people benefit from the programme as we can. Not only does this mean that young people across our schools and residential homes receive outstanding encouragement and support as they take part in DofE activities, it also means we provide opportunities for our adult team members to get involved too.
By choosing to become DofE leaders or coordinators, our team members get to play an important role in supporting young people through their programmes. Offering guidance, encouragement and practical support, they help the young people grow as individuals while also building skills and experience of their own.
It’s a great example of work that benefits both individuals and communities, and we’re proud to be playing our part.
Dream Big Trust
Dreams and ambitions help us focus on the future and choose a path through life, but even relatively modest dreams can sometimes seem way out of reach if financial and personal circumstances are a barrier.
That’s the thinking behind Dream Big Trust, a grant-giving charity set up by Outcomes First Group and now run separately by its own trustees. By awarding grants, Dream Big Trust helps to make those dreams more achievable, improving the lives of vulnerable children, young people and adults by supporting individuals, charities, services and projects that are making an amazing difference.
Whether someone’s dream involves learning new skills, buying essential equipment or starting an innovative new business, a grant from Dream Big Trust really can turn big ambitions into inspiring reality.
When it comes to taking steps to protect our planet, we have lots of green initiatives running across our Outcomes First Group family. From supporting children and young people to get involved in looking after their local environment, to growing beautiful flowers and delicious fruit and veg in our own allotments, we encourage everyone to help build a more sustainable future.
At Baston House School in Bromley, for instance, an award from The Green Initiative led to the team buying a new polytunnel for their allotment. Students have been working on creating flowerbeds and growing produce, learning valuable lessons about where our food comes from and how to care for plants. The space is an amazing educational location for horticulture lessons, and the fruit and vegetables it produces are used in food technology lessons too.
Acorn Park School in Banham near Norwich is also taking an active approach to green issues. Their children and young people particularly enjoy the annual Earth Day activities, which range from dressing up and discussions to learning about ways in which we should treat our planet with care. There’s a practical element too, with organised litter picking around the school site – a great reminder to everyone about how important it is to look after the environment we all share.
Many of our schools also take part in the Eco-Schools initiative, a worldwide movement engaging almost 20 million young people. It’s a great way for our students to discover how small local actions can contribute towards a global impact, and learn about the importance of making connections in this country and beyond.
Acorn Digital Learning
We’re proud of the supportive, nurturing environments we create in our schools across the UK, but it’s a fact that for some children and young people, the physical school environment can be an overwhelming place. They may experience barriers to learning for any number of reasons, and although the classroom might not be the right place for them at a particular time, they still deserve a first-rate education.
Acorn Digital Learning is our own pioneering platform for real-time online teaching. Designed specifically to support children and young people in Key State 3 and 4, it’s a flexible and effective solution for students without access to a school setting or those who are unable to attend for medical, mental health, anxiety or behavioural reasons. It’s an example of practical innovation that has a real impact on individuals’ lives.
With Acorn Digital Learning, all that the children and young people need is a computer with an internet connection. Then they’re free to study in an environment in which they feel supported and comfortable – whether that’s at home, in the community or any other setting.
Cooks & Kids
Cooks & Kids was an initiative started by Outcomes First Group to pull together a child-friendly recipe book with a difference. Children were asked to come up their favourite culinary creations before celebrity chefs, including Gregg Wallace and Aldo Zilli, took it in turns to turn mouth-watering food ideas into reality.
Fun and easy-to-follow cooking instructions, accompanied by an image gallery with the celebrity chefs and children in action, were made into a purchasable cookbook. All proceeds from the sale of the book went directly to Place2Be to help them continue their brilliant work.