Handsworth Association of Schools

Handsworth Association of Schools

At a glance

Causes

  • Children / families

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

For the last 22 years, HAOS has been enhancing the life chances of our children, young people and families through school enrichment, youth social action and family health and wellbeing projects. As a small independent local charity, we work to bring together schools and communities in Handsworth, an inner-city area high in deprivation and diversity. We are a membership model with 22 schools signed up as members but we are also part of a wider consortium of over 40 schools across North West Birmingham. We offer opportunities to children and young people to help build their confidence, extend positive social networks, improve wellbeing, reduce anti-social behaviour and develop skills and goals for life. HAOS understands that family life has a huge affect on children's development and attainment and we work community wide to support wellbeing from running a busy foodbank, delivering mental health programs, providing holiday and after school schemes for hundreds of children and young people each year and training professionals.

We have a board of Trustees made up of Head teachers, Social Workers, a Locality Team Manager for Birmingham Children’s Trust and community stakeholders that oversee sound management of all aspects of the organisation and all of our projects. We work with young people across West Birmingham and in Handsworth which has a BAME population over 60% with low incomes and high levels of poverty being prevalent. The Campaign to End Child Poverty says Handsworth has unemployment rates double the national average with almost 20% of properties being overcrowded. 45% of children are trapped below the poverty line so we are skilled at reaching young people in need.

Activities

EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT: We work with schools, families and young people to share learning, resources and expertise for educational improvement. Handsworth Association of Schools (HAOS) works with schools through 8 different networks engaging/supporting teachers, sharing learning and good practice towards better engagement, learning, pastoral care of pupils. We also facilitate curriculum enhancement initiatives that reach hundreds of children and young people each year. We have supported EFF funded St. Matthew’s Research Schools Network which seeks to elevate evidence based practice who work

closely with the UKLA and ResearchEd, alongside a range of higher education institutions and many forward-thinking schools and teachers across the West Midlands.

YOUTH ACTION: Our popular Young People’s Parliament has been the focus of our youth social action for a number of years where we teach leadership skills and engage young people in their local community. We also have a Green Mentor who has been funded for the next two years to encourage young people to participate in socially minded environmental activities in their community. Working with representatives from our 26 member schools and our Green Influencers scheme with is supporting young people into becoming environmental leaders. HAOS has a 'Miss Adventure' girls adventure group which exists to provide young women with new experiences which broaden their thinking. We directly employ a number of young people, have a student volunteer partnership with Birmingham University working with several students, and we are currently managing a team of 4 community youth journalists working on a Commonwealth Games funded project are signed up to the Good Youth Employment Charter.

FAMILY HEALTH AND WELLBEING: 60+ families per week are provided with food weekly from our own foodbank. Each family supported is referred to HAOS through our 26 local school members who prioritise families according to level of need. We know we are reaching displaced families living in poor conditions as part of the monitoring of our foodbank usage through school assessments. Much of our current support goes to families who benefit from immediate support after moving into new accommodation because of migration, domestic abuse or insecure finances. Schools are reaching out to us to support families due to the impact fuel bills have on children's education and wellbeing and we have dedicated family support outreach workers based at our family hub. We are also home to the Community Connectors Team in partnership with Spurgeon’s children's charity for the Perry Barr Locality sponsored by Birmingham Children’s Partnership. With strong links to the other 9 localities, we deliver outreach activities and professional training which helps to bring community and statutory organisations together to improve the lives of families. We are members of the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC), Charity Excellence Framework, a supporting member of National Energy Action (NEA) and are members of the Young Professional Institute.

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