Photo: Port of Dover

Woodpecker Court, a community organisation in Dover that supports young people who are not yet ready for mainstream post-16 education or a traineeship, has been supported by a £5,000 grant from the Port of Dover Community Fund.

Woodpecker Court is based in the Dover area and aims to improve the life chances of young people at the risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) whose circumstances have led them to struggle to develop in readiness for adult life.

It provides experiences utilising the outdoors to deliver formal and informal education, as well as access to the great outdoors.

Dominic Meehan, Principal of Woodpecker Court, said: “We were thrilled to receive funding to support our vital work from the Port of Dover. We are a specialist post-16 provider based in Eythorne, in the heart of the old Kent Coalfield. Our learning provision is for highly vulnerable young people, set on a community farm, in woodland and based upon outdoor learning experiences. The Covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for all of us, but it has exaggerated the issues faced by many of our vulnerable young people. This funding has enabled us to significantly increase our student counselling service, thus enabling many more students to be able to manage their mental health. This has meant that young people have been able to access the provision and start to thrive in our environment, where they were at home struggling to leave their rooms. This vital support has made a real difference to young lives.”

Dominic Meehan

Jenny Beacon, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at the Port of Dover, said: “Since its inception in 2015, the Port of Dover Community Fund has reached a diverse range of local organisations, supporting multiple elements of our local community, demonstrated by the recent donation to Woodpecker Court. On a recent visit with the Port of Dover Community Directors, we saw first-hand the amazing work being delivered by Woodpecker Court. The £5000 grant from the Community Fund will be used to engage 12 young people aged 16-18 years old, who are not currently in education, employment or training, in a three-month course with a focus on functional skills, together with a Level 1 Enterprise course, providing a unique blend of outdoor learning combined with classroom-based delivery, quality careers guidance and high-level pastoral support.”

Jenny Beacon

By Ed

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