Northeast charity The Children’s Foundation has unveiled its new outdoor education space after worldwide volunteer support from global tech company, Turnitin.
Turnitin, a company headquartered in the US with offices in Newcastle, gifted The Children’s Foundation $10,000 as part of its UK ACTivate scheme, allowing the charity to invest in resources to regenerate their original allotment site, invest in a second allotment space to increase the capacity of projects, and give more young people access to this essential resource. The donation will also fund eight young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain a Level 1 qualification and become more engaged with education as a whole.
Colleagues from Turnitin’s UK, USA, and Australian offices took on the challenge of turning the second site, an unloved allotment in Coxlodge, into an essential space where children and young people can be themselves, mix with peers, build confidence and hopefully step back into formal education. The new site was unveiled by Zemina Hasham, chief customer officer at Turnitin, alongside volunteers from the project team and staff from The Children’s Foundation.
The charity now operates a series of projects from the allotment, including Roots to Health, a project designed to specifically engage and support disadvantaged young people, 14-18 years old who are not engaged in education or training or are young people less likely to achieve a level one qualification in more standard subjects. The sessions run every week and develop a young person’s ability to mix socially, make
friends and learn new practical skills, whilst acquiring an accredited qualification (City & Guilds Level 1 Practical Horticulture).
Sean Soulsby, CEO of The Children’s Foundation said, “The second allotment space needed some serious TLC and we are incredibly grateful to everyone on the team at Turnitin, they have dug, planted, moved rubbish, painted, and worked unbelievably hard to create a space where young people can flourish. With recent reports showing that 1 in 5 children are now regularly missing school, projects like this are needed more than ever and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our friends at Turnitin.
“The allotment is also used by young people to gain accredited gardening qualifications, which simply wouldn’t be available to them without a space like this.”
Zemina Hasham, Chief Customer Officer at Turnitin said, “I have loved learning about the impact that the new space will have on children and young people in the North East I want to thank the Turnitin volunteers team for their dedication and hard work on this project. Every Turnitin employee understands that by advancing education, we advance humanity and we can see that coming to life here today. We look forward to hearing the stories of the young people who are bringing this space to life.”