We will be working with Leeds Rhinos Foundation to provide an early intervention programme to support families in Leeds facing the common issues caused by poverty, unstable home life, poor health and disengagement with education.
The Leeds Family Resilience Programme, supported by IGEN Trust, will utilise the skills and expertise of both charities to work with targeted families over 12-weeks and will include a family residential with us.
Research into the current climate in Leeds around some of the issues faced by children growing up in troubled family environments, suggests those affected will frequently exhibit low self-esteem, anti-social behaviour, mental health problems and underachievement at school, all contributing to poor emotional and physical wellbeing.
Dan Busfield, Partnership Manager at Leeds Rhinos Foundation said: "We have been building towards a joint programme with Brathay Trust since we started working together earlier in 2017 and with the Family Resilience Programme we can now use our resources and staff to make a lasting impact on a number of families and young people in the city.
"This new programme will offer families focussed support in developing skills which they can then use to assist their family unit. The family residential with Brathay will come at the half way point in the programme and will enable the charities to focus on the families in a different setting, offering them a new challenging experience with the aim of bringing the family unit closer together."
The Leeds Family Resilience Programme is an extension of the current 'Inspiring Champions' project delivered by Leeds Rhinos Foundation and sponsored by IGEN, which aims to engage year 5 pupils with education away from the school environment.
Frank Griffiths, Chairman at IGEN Trust said: "The IGEN Trust is proud to be engaged as a supporter of this project which goes go the heart of our mission.
"We have worked with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and the Brathay Trust for the last few years and I have seen the impact both have made to the lives of young people largely excluded from the mainstream of our society and for whom without intervention their life chances would be of long term poverty, educational under-achievement and little expectation of rewarding employment.
The causes of this are many and we cannot hope to provide a single solution but we can with our partners offer hope and some enrichment. The focus of this project is upon families and building the foundation for the longer time. In a city as rich as Leeds it is nothing short of a scandal that so many are marginalised."
Currently 164,000 people in Leeds live in areas ranked as amongst the 10% most deprived nationally, affecting as many as 35,000 children and young people in the city, often with low access to key services and resources to improve their situation.
To address poor health outcomes commonly associated with children and young people growing up in poverty the programme has been devised to include activities designed to help change the behaviours and attitudes to physical activity and improve health outcomes.
Julie Whiting, our Assistant Head Community Provision said: "Brathay are delighted to be working in partnership with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation to deliver the Family Resilience Programme to support families to feel good/function well and to improve their life chances for the whole family unit."