£3 million to toughen up our Doncaster children


Nearly £3 million is to be spent on toughening up Doncaster youngsters so they bounce back from adversity.

And the money will come from tax paid on high sugar projects, bosses have revealed.

The borough has launched a programme called Essential Life Skills, Doncaster Council cabinet has been told, which aims to share opportunities to engage in extra-curricular activities with disadvantaged sections of the community.

It will be run by Expect Youth, an organisation headed by Peter Norman, which works with organisations in the borough to provide youth activities.

It is aimed at non academic skills, such as becoming more resilient, and has £2.75 million of cash from the so-called 'sugar tax' and has been handed out to areas like Donacster, which have been designated as an 'opportunity area', on the basis of the number of disadvantaged youngsters in the borough.

Doncaster will have 47,124 eligible children, according the council figures.

Council director of people, Damien Allen, said: "We have an initiative called Essential Life Skills, which is for things like resilience, enterprise, and IT skills - things that can help people progress in life.

"There is a real opportunity to use the investment to narrow the gap in areas that have been called social mobility 'cold spots'."

It was among the measures raised at a meeting which gave backing to the council's Opportunity Area Delivery Plan, and agreed to accept funding for the scheme.

They also approved a grant of £1 million to the organisation Expect Youth, and of £300,000 to Partners in Learning. Expect Youth has been set up to run youth schemes in the borough. Partners in Learning provides training in schools.

It means there will be four priorities for the programme. They will be building solid foundations for all children; providing brilliant teaching and leadership for all secondary schools pupils, making sure no career is 'out of bounds' and making sure opportunities extend to all."

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