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Project information

The Horizon Project

Horizon assists young people who are NEET by providing training in plumbing, carpentry, functional skills; helping them to secure further training, apprenticeships and work. Intense character development takes place daily in the workshop and community as trainees take part in the DofE Scheme.

This project is ongoing having run for 12 years

Charity information: West Kent YMCA [Charity No 803529] Helping Young People Build Their Future

West Kent YMCA [Charity No 803529] Helping Young People Build Their Future logo
  • Need


    The need is reflected in the Kent Children and Young People's Plan in which: ‘They want to see every young person achieve their full potential through offering appropriate educational and vocational provision, providing effective multi-agency support for the most vulnerable, and promoting opportunities to participate fully within their community’. Government Statistics for the South East show that Kent had the highest number of young people permanently excluded from school.


    60% of Horizon trainees have been excluded from school, 20% are in danger of exclusion, 90% have Maths and English skills problems and ADHD concentration issues, isolating them further from the help that they need. Horizon has a 12 year track record of transforming the lives of 800 disadvantaged young people, making a lasting difference. We maintain a 95% attendance rate and last academic year 90% of trainees went onto further training employment or education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Young people gain confidence in their abilities through holistic character development and training


    » A key worker conducts daily '1:1'sessions to build confidence with training on issues such as anger management, punctuality and communication
    » Every trainee receives individual targets in the workshop each day/week.
    » Trainees will complete the 'U wheel' , a perception tool to gather information about their self- esteem and changes that they perceive have been made

    What success will look like

    Perception of trainees
    Horizon reports and portfolios - for each trainee

    Aim 2

    Young people have improved opportunities for training/employment due to achieving qualifications.


    » Trainees will take accredited courses and exams in carpentry or plumbing
    » Trainees will take accredited courses and exams in numeracy and literacy

    What success will look like

    Exam results in all accredited courses.

    Aim 3

    Young People will have an improved attitude to their local community, at work and where they live


    » Trainees will participate in a community project as a volunteer.
    » Trainees will learn about world war one and two linking it to people in the community and will take part in the Remembrance activities locally.

    What success will look like

    Participation numbers in community ventures.
    Achievement in each of the four Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award areas.

  • Impact


    Moving on from Horizon, we record the number of college places achieved by Horizon trainees, the number of apprenticeships and the number of trainees securing employment. The project manager records what Horizon trainees do in terms of further training, apprenticeships and college, for 2 years after leaving the project. We will measure success through feedback from trainees, carers and stakeholders and we record all exam results.


    The main risk for Horizon is cost. Due to the nature of the young people that are trainees and the intense character development work and one to one work that is conducted, Horizon is expensive. However, each year for 12 years, West Kent YMCA has successfully topped up statutory contracts with extra fundraising


    Donors to this project will receive a quarterly newsletter about the West Kent YMCA and a report in June with details of results.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,080

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,780 Materials Wood and Copper and Equipment Depreciation
      £14,700 Utilities rent utilities and telephone vehicles costs
      £6,600 Qualifications trainee qualifications and Training
      £22,000 salaries Salaries - FS Tutors

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Local charities £3,500 Guaranteed
    Individual Donor £1,000 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trust - Colyer Fergusson £20,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Horizon carpentry is based in Tonbridge which is a busy town with clear areas of deprivation but also great wealth too with Tonbridge School as one of the most expensive private schools in the country just situated down the road. Horizon plumbing is situated in the community centre in Tunbridge Wells in Sherwood an area of significant deprivation


    Disadvantaged young people are the beneficiaries with improved confidence, self- esteem and sufficient qualifications to achieve a place at college, an apprenticeship or employment.
    Parents, carers and siblings benefit too from improved relationships with the trainee due to their better behaviour.
    The local community benefit from a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour and young people who are better connected with their local community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    West Kent YMCA has been serving the community for 25 years and is well placed to run the Horizon project, having done so for 12 years with excellent results. We are also planning to improve the project, e.g. the functional skills work has a 3 year plan in place to improve the provision. The charity is also able to refer and connect young people from all the projects that it runs and through the wide network of partners and supporters known locally to the YMCA.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rob Marsh - Chief Executive West Kent YMCA

    Rob has over 40 years voluntary youth work, setting up a charity. After 28 years in the Army [R&D, bomb disposal, Whitehall] he became CEO in 2004

    Angi Agopian - Project Manager - The HORIZON Project

    Angi is an experienced teacher, trainer, project manager recruiting and supporting 'hard to reach' and reluctant learners across West Kent

    Bonnie Corbett - Key Worker

    Bonnie is experienced in listening and coaching. She brings a soft caring approach to the daily challenges of Horizon empowering trainees to improve

    Jason Whybrow - Mentor - YMCA Young Worker Of The Year 2014 - Www.WestKentYMCA.Org.Uk/Jason

    Jason is a huge asset to Horizon. After brain injury in Afghanistan he learnt to walk & talk again. His inspiring attitude led to his national award

West Kent YMCA


Will register 1 City and Guilds certificate

“I’ve never been good at anything before, and I’ve passed! Kushti!”

Young Person