Project information

Get Ahead Summer Programme

Summer activities for disadvantaged children focussed on building self esteem and resilience. Artistic, cultural and sporting activities are delivered by volunteer mentors and professionally qualified staff (teachers, social workers, counsellors) with our partners and includes a healthy lunch!

July 2016 - August 2016

Charity information: East Merton Learning Together Trust

East Merton Learning Together Trust logo
  • Need


    For many local children and their families the long summer holidays can be a time of stress and challenge. Working parents have little money to spend on childcare and so turn to friends and family to keep an eye on their children. For many youngsters, summer means easy access to endless computer games and lots of sitting around indoors, rather than the opportunity to be more active, and creative, meet new people and try something different. The holidays can represent a time of wasted opportunity


    In the get ahead summer programme we provide a range of team based artistic cultural and sporting activities, as well as activities designed to develop personal resilience and self confidence eg circle time, one to one mentoring. We also provide games-based learning support for children at risk of falling behind in key areas of reading writing and maths. Key to our programme is the high ratio of mentors to children- providing children with positive role models from similar cultural backgrounds

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    to offer activities that children enjoy, parents support & encourage a positive attitude to learning


    » artistic, cultural and sports based activities eg junk modelling, t-shirt tie dye, drama , visits to gallery/ shows, running/ baseball/ swimming
    » children and mentors engage in activties to support individual resilience and self esteem- eg circle time, one to one mentoring
    » children and mentors provide games based learning support for those children at risk of falling behind in reading, writing and maths
    » children with mentors engage in preparation, presentation and sharing of healthy eating- including modelling of positive meal time behaviour

    What success will look like

    attendance data, feedback from pupils, parents and home schools
    comparing impact on learning loss against other similar pupils who have not attended the summer programme

  • Impact


    Research shows that when children spend the summer holidays watching TV and playing video games, with little mental stimulation, they can lose up to 2.6 months of math skills and 1 month of literacy.
    We aim to provide 20 - 40 pupils with one to three weeks of summer activities that will redress this.
    We will demonstrate this by measuring impact on learning against that of other similar pupils who have not attended the summer programme


    Some of local families endure multiple disadvantages and have quite chaotic lives which can impact on pupils school attendance. This may impact on recruitment to and attendance at the summer programme.

    Last year we contacted families to establish a relationship and help identify potential problems in advance and in fact attendance was higher than predicted (90+% over 2 weeks)


    Donors will receive email reports at beginning/ middle and end of the programme confirming projected pupils numbers per week, final weekly activity programmes, details of mentors, attendance records and any changes that have been made to the project plans

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Week 1 programme delivery of 5 days of activities for 20 pupils with 7+ professional/ volunteer mentors
      £4,000 Week 2 programme delivery of 5 days of activities for 20 pupils with 7+ professional/ volunteer mentors
      £4,000 Week 3 prorgamme delivery of 5 days of activities for 20 pupils with 7+ professional/ volunteer mentors
      £1,250 mentor recruitment & training recruit and train mentors from sixth form, university and adults
      £1,500 activity planning & booking schedule activities and required resources
      £1,500 marketing & recruitment includes face to face presentations to pupils/parents/ schools, email and print
      £1,250 monitoring and evaluation include
      £2,500 food £5 per pupil/ vounteer mentor per day

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Gorringe Park School £3,500 Conditional
    Links School £500 Conditional
    Stanford School £1,000 Conditional
  • Background


    East Merton is an area of considerable economic disadvantage. Residents in Figges Marsh, Mitcham Eastfields and Pollards Hill wards face high level sof unemployment, poor quality / overcrowded housing, and multiple health issues: there is a difference of about 9 years of life expectancy for men and about 11 years for women between the most and least deprived areas within the London Borough of Merton


    Children aged 8-11 will be the main beneficiaries attending the following schools: Beecholme, Gorringe Park, Links, Lonesome. William Morris, Singlegate, Stanford and Sherwood.

    Young people (aged 15-18) attending the New Horizons Community Centre (Pollards Hill) and/ or St Mark's Cof E Secondary Academy will also benefit - some receiving training to become youth mentors. Also young mentors already engaged in Hope Atrium projects

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We ran this project successfully with funding in summer of 2015 from the healthy school programme . We have established the essential relationships with schools and a range of providers necessary to ensure a successful and safe summer programme

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Madeleine Swords

    Project lead- agrees programme with suppliers eg Hope Atrium, Commonside, YMCA, MSSP and Sustainable Merton. Recruitment and evaluation.

    Carlis Douglas

    leads for hope atrium. Ran the 2015 Get Ahead summer project East Merton schools funded by Healthy school project

    Lisa Marie Hawkins

    YMCA lead who coordinates supply of sporting and cooking based activities/ staff across east merton schools

I really noticed the difference when our children came back to school in September. The ones who went on the programme seemed to be more positive to be back. The children loved it and the parents were very positive about it as well

head teacher