Academy inspires new start for teens

Mentoring of young people.'Pictured are April Richardson, Kiah Granfield, Andrew Mitchell, Martyn Curtis & Wade Byrne with mentor Nigel Witham
Mentoring of young people.'Pictured are April Richardson, Kiah Granfield, Andrew Mitchell, Martyn Curtis & Wade Byrne with mentor Nigel Witham
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TROUBLED teenagers who have gone off the rails have been given fresh hope for the future thanks to a Daventry training provider.

A group of ten young people, some of whom have been expelled from school, been affected by drugs or are at risk of becoming homeless, are working with The Rushmere Academy, in Royal Oak Way, Daventry, to gain hands-on work experience and new qualifications.

Training manager, Leanne Dodds, said: “The training is for 14 to 19-year-olds who, for various reasons, can’t get in to college.

“We show them a positive change and way forward by finding out what their passions and strengths are.”

The Rushmere Academy works closely with Connections, the Job Centre and the Youth Offending Team to identify young people who need assistance.

Those people are then guided through foundation qualifications at the same time as working with businesses for work experience.

Nigel Witham, of New Roofing, is among those taking on the teenagers.

At his allotment at Newnham Turn Farm the young people are growing vegetables which they will sell to Daventry takeaways.

Mr Witham said: “It’s not just about growing the veg, it’s about showing them what can come of it. We are mentoring them into jobs and trying to take their passion and help them grow.

“I’m trying to be the example because I had a bad upbringing and was expelled from school, I can’t read and write very well but I survived and I have my own business now.”

Martin Kurtis, 17, has been with the academy for two weeks after being expelled from Danetre School.

He said: “I didn’t have any qualifications but this has given me something to do and a way to make friends. I’m working towards going in the Army.”