TwentyTwenty works with young people aged 11 - 24 to break cycles of unemployment, hopelessness and dependency in the most deprived areas of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Rutland.  We believe that every young person has incredible potential, and that the most disaffected young people are resources to be developed rather than problems to be solved.

The young people who come to us live without hope, in the most deprived neighbourhoods, many from families who are now long term unemployed: 

-    They have failed at school, through being excluded or not being able to engage with mainstream education.  They exist in a demoralised state, feeling neglected and without a meaningful future;

-    They face a wide range of personal and social needs such as poor physical and mental health, learning disabilities (many are on the autistic spectrum), caring responsibilities (including teenage motherhood), lack of decent housing, family criminality, gross economic disadvantage, low level drug addiction and a complete lack of societal or family support.

We do this through:

-    Lifeskills Centres in Loughborough, Leicester and Derby, training NEET 16-19 year olds in education and essential business skills, helping them gain qualifications and work experience, with wraparound pastoral support and offers of counselling where deeper-rooted issues might be barriers to their success.

·     Mentoring schemes across Leicester, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, training volunteer adult role models from local communities and matching them with vulnerable teenagers bereft of family support. 

·     Love4Life’ programmes across Leicester and Leicestershire, supporting vulnerable girls through relationship education, sexual health services and mental health workshops in youth groups on deprived estates. 

Since 2007, we have worked with over 2000 young people. 83% of our learners progressed into employment, training or education last year.

The John Lewis Foundation supports our 'Engage' programme, which seeks to reengage the most disengaged, hard to reach young people back into education so they can move on into employment.  Our 'Engage' courses support 50-60 young people in Leicester every year.

This article was first published in May 2018 May 30 2018