Vi-ability teams up with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to launch new ‘Getting Back on Track’ programme

We are delighted to announce the launch of our brand-new initiative – ‘Getting Back on Track’ – which will help young people who have recently dropped out of college to get back into education or enter into employment.

The three-year programme is the result of an exciting partnership with Vi-Ability, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (DKHT) and a number of further education colleges* in London. 

‘Getting Back on Track’ sees some of the best elements of our award-winning ‘Run the Club’ programme being combined with DKHT’s ‘Get on Track’ programme and importantly, has been granted funding by the Greater London Authority and European Social Fund. 

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The programme was officially launched during a reception at City Hall on Tuesday 31 October, with keynote speeches from Joanne McCartney AM (Deputy Mayor of London), Dame Kelly Holmes (Founder and President at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust) and remarks from Kelly Davies (Founder and Chair of Vi-Ability).

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Dame Kelly Holmes, said: “We believe as a charity that every young person –no matter what their background or current circumstances – has the potential to lead a positive life, which includes being able to enjoy career success.

“One of the biggest things we hear from industry is that young people arrive with a lack of soft skills, which leads to challenges with performance and retention. Our trained athlete mentors have the proven ability to unlock the attitudes and behaviours needed to be successful in the workplace, which includes traits such as confidence, motivation, determination and resilience.

“Employers who recruit from our programmes are consistently impressed by their talent and focus, despite not always having the best start in life. Most importantly, our young people find themselves being given opportunities and progression that they might once never have thought possible.”

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Joanne McCartney AM, said: “Deciding whether to continue with education at the age of 16 can be a difficult decision, and we know that many students are unsure about which path to take. All young people deserve the chance for a bright future, and The Getting Back on Track partnership provides a new way of working which will equip them with vital employment skills and opportunities, should they decide college is not for them.

“This is one of many fantastic employment and skills projects funded by London’s share of the England European Social Fund programme.  It hasn’t been confirmed whether any new funding will take its place after Brexit, and I urge Government to take steps to ensure there is no gap in support to the young Londoners who need it most.”

Kelly Davies commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to deliver Getting Back on Track which sees some of the best elements of our award-winning ‘Run the Club’ programme being combined with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s ‘Get on Track’ programme. Through Getting Back on Track we’re hoping to make a real difference to young people’s lives and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it develops.”


How does the programme work?

The ‘Getting Back on Track’ scheme consists of a number of ten-week long courses. The courses have been designed to first help young people build up key attitudes which are crucial to workplace success (for example motivation and confidence), before being introduced to employers who will give the young people an insight into the world of work, and an understanding of opportunities available to them.

How can you help?

We would love to hear from any local and regional employers in or near Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark to get involved with ‘Getting Back on Track’.

We are looking for employers who can offer work experience placements, or identify entry-level roles which might be on offer to the young people when they have finished their work placement.

As part of this, an employer would be asked to:

  • Attend a ‘meet the employer/employee’ networking session
  • Provide two work experience placements per year**
  • Arrange for brief weekly feedback to be given to participants and their mentors
  • Provide opportunities for apprenticeships or employment at the end of the programme

Any employers who are involved in the ‘Getting Back on Track’ programme would be given support to set up their work placement.

What’s in it for employers?

Being an employer on the ‘Getting Back on Track’ programme is highly rewarding – not only do employers who take part in the scheme actively support the local community, but importantly, they are also investing in the development of young people today and helping to support their future employment.

All employers involved with ‘Getting Back on Track’ will be invited to the end-of-programme events which will celebrate the success of the young people and the employers’ partnership with Vi-Ability and the DKHT.

Find out more

To find out more information about what it entails to be an employer on the ‘Getting Back on Track’ programme, please contact Elly Virgo, Senior Area Development Manager – South) on ellyv@damekellyholmestrust.org / mobile: 07450 538916

Are you a young person who wants to enroll on a ‘Getting Back on Track’ course?

If you’re a young person who has recently come out of college education and you think you would benefit from ‘Getting Back on Track’, please email courses@vi-ability.org, or call 01492 583555.

*Further education colleges include: London South East Colleges, Lewisham Southwark College and Shooters Hill
**Work experience placements need to be within travelling distance of Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley, Southwark and Lewisham