Foundation link up with Bishop Young Academy

Foundation link up with Bishop Young Academy

Coaches support at-risk youngsters.

The Leeds United Foundation have partnered with Bishop Young Academy to help support at-risk youngsters with their mental health and wellbeing and help improve their attendance at school.

Coaches from the club’s official charity have been working closely with the school, including both teachers and pupils, to support their goals and ensure those who face significant barriers to learning or come from vulnerable backgrounds are offered extra support to succeed.

The Foundation work with a group of 30 students from Year 7 through to Year 11 who have come from challenging backgrounds, and the main aim is to work closely with them through intensive one-to-one sessions to help them engage more in school life and encourage them to make positive decisions that will influence their futures.

The students currently working with coaches from the Leeds United Foundation have been identified by their heads of year, with many of them likely to be exposed to gang crime, CSE (child sexual exploitation), knife crime and general violence. Through this programme, these pupils will receive guidance that will hopefully deter them from any of these scenarios, and most importantly it gives them someone to speak to and someone to look out for them.

The partnership is being led by Blaine Bryant, who is one of the Foundation’s Attendance and Behaviour Officers. Blaine is a qualified mental health first aider and is uniquely qualified to help students struggling with their wellbeing. He said: “I think it’s really important that we are working with these young students outside of their regular classroom set up. I think I am also someone that they can relate to, which hopefully makes it easier for them to open up to me and share their thoughts and feelings.

“I think coming from a sporting background is really beneficial and that link with the club brings a lot of positive attention that helps keep the kids engaged in what we are trying to do with them.”

Rachael Cole, Head of School at Bishop Young Academy, added: “The incredible support provided by Blaine and the Leeds United Foundation at our Academy is making a real difference to many of our students. From encouraging them to meet our school attendance targets, to modelling exemplary behaviour inside and outside school, we’re seeing improvements to mental well-being, positive attitudes and behaviours and increased confidence and self-esteem.

"The Hub they’ve created is encouraging our students to develop their interpersonal skills to foster stronger, safer and inclusive communities, and raise their aspirations for the future. We are looking forward to continuing our long and productive relationship with the Leeds United, and seeing the Hub become part of everyday life at Bishop Young Academy.”

If you would like any further information around the support available through the Leeds United Foundation for Secondary Schools, please contact