Hopscotch Care considers that educating young people is the highest priority in order to give them the skills they need to make the transition into successful independent living. Many of the young people who come to our Homes have not been in any form of education for many months or years. Staff in the homes have excellent relationships with the key partner agencies and education providers as well as support from private tutors where it is impossible to engage young people in mainstream or specialist provision.
Hopscotch Care has its own education centre run by a very experienced teacher with specialist skills. It is a large imposing building in the centre of Kendal with a training room for staff, a formal classroom for young people, a games and activity room, a fully equipped flat to give young people the skills to make the transition to independence, a fully equipped professional kitchen, space for furniture upcycling and bike maintenance workshops, a fully equipped music room and offices.
The Head of education not only provides teaching for young people in the Hive but is also trained in therapeutic support and mentoring, visits the homes when young people are not attending school or the Hive and provides targeted appropriate level work programmes.
As well as providing key functional skills Hopscotch believes that engaging young people in a variety of life experiences is a valuable addition to their educational learning.
As well as providing additional learning experiences it also helps to increase self-confidence and awareness and provides opportunities to learn about different cultures and societies both in the UK and internationally.
Young people will be actively engaged in planning their weekly activities. We are fortunate in that the location of the homes enables us to benefit from the main tourist areas and urban centres in Lancashire and Cumbria. Young people have taken part in over 50 different activities in the last few months ranging from more intellectual challenging trips to museums, watching football matches to pampering in a spa.
Each home has a Community Engagement Champion who is responsible to ensure that young people and staff engage in a wide variety of activities supporting the local community. This could be supporting charity events or organising bingo nights working with the local primary school or having a stand at a church fete.
They not only gain some self worth from the experience but it also encourages them to appreciate and empathise with people in the local community.