Happy New Year!
The new-year governors’ meeting is coming up, meaning it is time to look back and see what we have achieved over the past year, where we are and where we are going.
2022 was another fantastic year for TWT across the organisation.
The Aspire Higher team that delivers the mentoring programme across London schools and PRU’s supported over 100 students sustained in education for over a 6-to-18-month period. This programme has been hugely successful, with the team seeing many positive outcomes coming from the programme. Thank you to all the team involved and the efforts for raising the profile, travelling all around London meeting mentees in schools and further education. We have overachieved on our contract and the quality of our paperwork and the excellent delivery!
Our parenting programme started slowly at the start of 2022 – the team have worked hard to turn the contract into a successful one and they have managed to overachieve in getting parents back into work. One of our staff members working at our school came from this programme and is doing an amazing job in engaging our students, in particular with our nurture group.
After a turbulent first year in our new school, we are now starting to see some stability in student behaviour, attendance, and teaching and learning. Most of the team are new and have been learning the values and ethos of the organisation as well as working with some very complex students. The school feels a lot calmer, fun, and safer.
2023 will be another challenging year for TWT. At present there is so much uncertainty with government contracts; lots of organisations like us are making staff redundancies and local authorities are being forced to reduce their front-line services once again. I’m confident that we will be able to keep our current staff and find contracts that can sustain the amazing work Aspire Higher and the Parenting team are doing as we have done for the past 8 years. Finance from our contracts has often supported the school to grow, and the school has often supported the contracts to grow.
It is a very difficult time for our beneficiaries, staff, and management team. The cost of living is impacting everyone, and it only seems to be getting worst. Recent announcements by the government have made it very challenging for small businesses like TWT our taxes, utility bills, and services we use have all increased. During the school holidays in 2022 we continued to financially support our most vulnerable children. Members of our team, Suk and Paul, also managed an external provider using our building facilities over the summer and Christmas for families that needed support with childcare and food over the holidays.
In 2022 we grew the team across the organisation, invested significantly in individual and team training, given a generous budget for resources, and had some fun team days.
From January 2023 we will be introducing some wellbeing days for all staff to take when in need of support for time off for emergency appointments for themselves or their family, childcare and other unforeseen issues.
TWT continue to be committed to developing staff and ensuring they can progress through the organisation and beyond. Last year we had three members of staff progress into leadership roles, we have also had four staff members leave TWT to set up their own businesses. As an owner of a successful business, I was given opportunities to progress from a volunteer, youth worker, manager, and director, to business owner. It has not been easy, and it continues to be difficult, however, I love the challenge! I’m very proud that I’m able to offer similar opportunities I had to TWT staff. Thank you all for your work, effort and dedication and to all that believe in us and make it possible for us to make a difference in our community.