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  • Writer's pictureBeth Nunn

Top 10 of 2020

1. Our Reach for the Sky Programme

In January we launched a new programme in Stockport working with 60 Year 7 students at 4 local schools, (Reddish Vale, Harrytown, St. Anne’s RC High Schools and Stockport Academy). The programme was designed to engage participants in social action within their school and community, whilst learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – read more about it’s success here!

2. Connell College

Throughout 2020 we developed our partnership with Connell Co-Op College with delivery of our Future Ready programme, and after a successful first year of collaboration we are so pleased to renew our contract and continue our work with Connell students.

3. Cultural Capital experiences

Whilst we didn't get to run as many as usual in 2020, we still had the opportunity to provide 274 experiences via student visits, including visits to Manchester Metropolitan University and the EY Foundation in Central Manchester.

4. Supporting our Community

Back in April at the beginning of lockdown, we wanted to make sure that we supported our communities quickly, so put together learning packs including craft activities (and easter eggs!) for some of our families with younger children, learning resources for older children and a wide range of online activities for every age (from Early Years up to Adult learners). Learning, resource and care packages were distributed to over 500 families across the Greater Manchester area.

5. Transition during lockdown

One of the groups of young people who perhaps faced the biggest challenge in 2020 were those moving from primary to secondary school, in recognition of this we continued to run our Step Up programme with Stockport Council and Stockport County, delivering all sessions online, as well as turning our annual workshops for Unity Academy, Blackpool into a home learning challenge.

6. Wave of Change

At the beginning of 2020 we launched a new kind of programme entirely for PIE - working to help out of work women become ready for their next chapter in the Wave of Change programme. Partnering with local Stockport Social Enterprise The Goodness Collective, we are about to complete our second Wave of Change programme, and are recruiting for our third! We have already helped 38 women in Stockport, and are looking for 20 more!

7. Going Virtual

In November we hosted our first ever online careers event! Details from Connell Virtual careers event blog. We invited 18 local business experts to take part, who in turn spent time speaking to our Future Ready cohort at Connell Co-op College. We used Zoom to allow students the precious opportunity to meet local professionals, and focus on some time exploring possible careers options. They spent 10 minutes in different break out rooms speaking to a variety of different people, ranging from travel consultants, to robotics teachers!

We ran many sessions during the first lockdown online, including weekly pastoral sessions with students from Manchester Communication Academy and Chorlton High School. Also, our Big Lockdown Event run by young people in Stockport was planned and run almost entirely online!

8. BUILD Project

We were thrilled to be awarded funding by the Youth Endowment Fund to develop a new programme in partnership with Bounceback Education. The BUILD programme is now running to support Year 9 students at MEA Central in Manchester, and Walkden Academy in Salford, helping them to build and develop skills beyond their usual school curriculum.

9. Award success

We are so proud to be recognised by some very special organisations and received a number of awards! After the initial lockdown we received the GMP High Sherriff Commendation, in recognition of PIE’s contribution to the community during that turbulent time. In December we appeared on the WISE 100 list and received the ‘Women in Education’ She Inspires Award.

10. Our growing team

At the end of 2019, we welcomed Anna to the team, to help support with admin and planning for projects. Her role has since developed to support the marketing and impact work that we do. We have also welcomed Caroline into our delivery team, and are now working with a number of exciting new delivery partners, including Antony who has been delivering our Put It In Words programme.

Whilst 2020 wasn't what we expected, we had a lot to celebrate and a lot of amazing young people and participants to shout about. We can't wait to see what 2021 has in store...

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