In 2015 Forward Assist won the Centre for Social Justice Award and were gifted £10,000 by Marsh Global which funded a variety of projects including Active Kids.

Working with English Martyrs School in Hartlepool, we took 10 disadvantaged children who are at risk of exclusion on a 5 day residential at Alternate Forces in Rochdale. With the help of their teachers and our veterans we carried out a wide variety of activities including mountain biking, hill climbing, navigation and team building exercises.

Staying in comfortable but basic lodgings with no internet or TV, we were able to work with the children to develop their social and behavioural skills and seen a huge improvement within a relatively short space of time.

It was a wonderful experience for the veterans to help with the children and activities and for the children to carry out activities they have never done before in new surroundings. It was discovered that a number of the children hadn’t been out of their town so it was a huge experience for them.

The project was a massive triumph with the children and veterans getting so much out of it, so much so the school have asked to come back to do it again!

‘They are a very vulnerable group which we needed to motivate to get back in to school. Since coming back from the residential all of the group have become re-engaged and self-motivated in school. Their confidence and self-esteem has improved substantially as well as their attendance and social skills. Because of the success of the trip all pupils have settled very well into school and have sustained positive friendships. They have even been chosen to participate in further projects ran by the school.’

– Tor Hooks, Teacher @ English Martyrs.